London – Kuwait Currency has the class to defy joint top-weight in the Betway Casino Handicap on Wednesday at Lingfield.
Richard Hannon’s three-year-old must concede age to all 10 of his opponents and weight to all apart from evergreen Pactolus – who gave him 1.5kg and finished 2.5 lengths behind him in a course-and-distance Listed race last month.
Back in handicap company, Kuwait Currency has attracted a 1.5kg rise for that second successive runner-up spot.
He has earned it, however, and arrives with the momentum to take care of Pactolus again and also overturn previous form behind the re-opposing Kasbaan.
He must address a minor issue at the weights with his Kempton conqueror.
But Kuwait Currency is on an upward curve again, on the basis of his last two runs in defeat – second to the prolific Alrajaa at Kempton and then the Group class Crossed Baton here.
The move back up to this 2000m trip also brought about further improvement last time.
Earlier on the card, Global Hope and Holy Eleanor are both of interest.
The former is another who must defy top-weight, alongside three of his 13 rivals in the opening Bombardier Golden Beer Handicap.
It is a tight race, though – with 3.2kg covering the whole field – and after bumping into a well-treated winner when runner-up on his return to this surface at Kempton in October, the move back up to 1400m should suit Global Hope.
Holy Eleanor ran with promise, despite ending up a beaten favourite, on her stable and all-weather debut at Wolverhampton this month.
She stayed on well after a tardy start that day and can get it right at the second attempt for Archie Watson and Hollie Doyle in the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Nursery Handicap.
The Listed 32Red Wild Flower Stakes is the feature on Kempton’s evening card, and Pablo Escobarr has a persuasive profile.
William Haggas’ three-year-old may well have the measure of his elders, having run with credit against some classy contemporaries through the summer.
He was a 2.35-length runner-up to subsequent Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck, in the Trial Stakes at Lingfield.
After finishing a mid-field fifth in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, Pablo Escobarr had wind surgery and returned at the start of last month with another fine runner-up spot behind Cambridgeshire winner Lord North in a Listed race at Newmarket.
That level of form puts him right in the mix on his all-weather debut.
There are two decent jumps cards today, and Dashel Drasher is sent north for Haydock’s Conservatory Insulations Novices’ Chase in search of quick compensation for his recent Newbury spill.
Jeremy Scott’s six-year-old came unstuck at the first fence last Friday, taking on Champ for the second time after finishing a fine second to Nicky Henderson’s rising star on his chasing debut at the same course three weeks earlier.
Dashel Drasher was a fine, staying novice hurdler last season – and has a good opportunity to get off the mark over fences here.
The preceding Watch Racing TV Maiden Hurdle features Keep Wondering, whose second to a good prospect on stable debut at Aintree last month indicated he too has a bright future.
At Ludlow, the N.F.U. Mutual Ludlow Mares’ Handicap Hurdle is an ideal opportunity for Darling Du Large to double her career tally after easily getting off the mark on her seasonal return at Hereford.
Tidal Flow should be able to make a name for himself over fences, and can start the process by winning the South Shropshire Roofing Beginners’ Chase – having had a break since failing to justify favouritism when third at Ffos Las in October. – Press Association