3.25 Musselburgh – MISTER MANDURO (nb)
The selection, trained by Mark Johnston, is a son of Manduro who progressed with each run at two, culminating in victory on his third start in a 1m auction maiden at Chelmsford last November when running out an easy winner by 4 lengths from Makkadangdang. He made his return to action in an 11.5f handicap at Bath in April, sitting in second behind the clear leader for the most part, launching a challenge two furlongs out and soon leading, headed in the final strides by Hushood and going down by a head (strong form). He proved a bitter disappointment in a 10f handicap at Newmarket a month ago, attempting to make all but pushed along over three furlongs out and beaten when looking to not handle the Dip, eased off to eventually finish last of nine behind Leshlaa. His previous effort (when having Permian and Sofia’s Rock in behind) suggests he is better than that, with the step back in trip last time perhaps not suiting and the move up to 14f here bound to suit better; wouldn’t be the first from this stable to bounce straight back from a poor performance and no surprise to him make a bold bid from the front.
5.40 Doncaster – MOJITO (nap)
The selection, trained by William Haggas, is a son of Requinto who shaped very well on debut when a running-on third in a 7f maiden at York last October, duly confirming that promise in a 1m maiden at Newcastle three weeks later, travelling strongly under a patient ride and once again strong at the finish to see off Somnambulist by 2¼ lengths. His return to action came in a five-runner 7f handicap at Haydock seven days ago (9/4 chance), slowly away/awkward from the stalls and taking a keen hold in third a little wide, ridden to challenge two furlongs out and holding every chance at the furlong marker, sticking to the task well as he finished third behind Silent Echo (beaten ¾ length). It was a perfectly respectable return to action from this colt, a bit fresh early without cover but only giving best late to a promising pair that had a fitness advantage; entitled to strip fitter for that run and with the bigger field/additional furlong also positives, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this son of Requinto set himself up for a crack at the Britannia with victory here.
8.40 Newcastle – BARWAH
The selection, trained by Peter Niven, is a daughter of Discreet Cat who has always saved her very best form for synthetic surfaces, her first two career victories (for Anthony Carson) coming at Kempton. She moved to this stable in the summer of 2015 and bagged the first of three victories here in a 1m handicap last May, following up in a 7.5f handicap at Beverley the following month for her one and only turf victory to date. She has since landed two more 1m handicaps back here, the latest of which came in January, and she has been far disgraced in defeat since with a couple of second place finishes here including when given too much to do over course and distance behind Spinwheel. She is back to the mark she raced from on that occasion after a tenth place finish in a 1m handicap at Wetherby a couple of weeks ago, hampered over a furlong out and soon weakening out of it; returning to this track with a recent run behind her and back off a competitive mark, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this mare right in the thick of things.