5.45 Haydock – PENTLAND HILLS (nap)
The selection, trained by Chris Wall, is a son of Motivator who is a who hinted at ability in a trio of 1m events here and twice at Newmarket last autumn, patiently ridden and not given a hard time on any of those outings, rounding off his juvenile campaign with a well-held fifth place finish behind Knight To Behold. He made his return to action in a 10f handicap at Yarmouth a month ago (not unsupported 8/1 chance), waited with towards the rear of the field until making smooth progress over three furlongs out, soon short of room and again denied a clear run when attempting to challenge approaching the final furlong, eventually coming home in eighth behind Immortal Romance (beaten 6 lengths). It’s fair to say this gelding shaped a fair bit better than the end result, travelling like one ahead of its mark but unable to show what he was all about, room very much at a premium and considerately handled once his chance had gone. He has actually been eased a pound for that defeat, remaining a good prospect for middle distance handicaps in 2018; one or two from his stable have scored second time out after muted comeback efforts and, entitled to strip fitter for a run, this son of Motivator can come good at the fifth time of asking here.