4.40 Redcar – CONTREBASSE (nap)
The selection, trained by Tim Easterby, is a nicely-bred son of Champs Elysees who stepped up markedly on his debut effort when contesting a 1m novice auction at York a month later (50/1 chance), dropped in from his wide draw and racing at the rear of the field, ridden to make progress over two furlongs out and keeping on nicely late on to take sixth behind Barford (beaten 9¾ lengths). His third and qualifying run came back at 7f in a novice auction event at Newcastle three weeks later (10/1 chance), waited with in rear and squeezed up as the race began to take shape over two furlongs out, nudged along and staying on nicely throughout the final furlong to finish fifth behind Augenblick (beaten 6 lengths). This gelding was clearly brought along with a handicapping campaign in mind, the ground he made up late the last twice under considerate handling promising much better to come, and an opening mark of 65 allows him to start out at a realistic level (pedigree alone suggests he’ll prove better than that mark one day). The step up to ten furlongs should also enable him to reveal his true potential, though one obvious negative would be his stable has made its usual muted start to the season (running fairly well in defeat on the whole); should he return fit and ready, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this son of Champs Elysees come good in a big way here.