5.20 Newmarket – JUANITO CHICO (nb)
The selection, trained by William Jarvis, showed a good level of form in some competitive handicaps throughout the first half of last season, one of a few to meet trouble when staying on into fifth behind Atty Persse on his seasonal reappearance in the Esher Cup at Sandown last April. He followed an excellent third place finish to Hajaj in a well-contested 1m handicap at Ascot the following month with victory in a 7f handicap at Epsom on Oaks day, forced to switch to mount his challenge but staying on strongly once in the clear to score by a length from Wahash. Unsuited by the how things unfolded on the July course next time, he signed off with a couple of highly creditable efforts in defeat, going down by a neck to Addeybb at Ascot and then rather isolated when delivering his challenge as he finished fourth to D’Bai when last seen back there in July. He boasts some solid handicapping form, it tying in with the likes of Addeybb and Fire Brigade, and he really ought to be well suited by the sort of scenario he’ll face here (big field/well run race over seven furlongs); booking of Jamie Spencer looks a wise one given his run style and, assuming he’s ready to roll and things fall his way, this son of Pour Moi can make a winning return to action.
7.50 Fairyhouse – TINTANGLE (nap)
The selection, trained by Gordon Elliott, is a well-bred daughter of Yeats who debuted in a Grade 2 mares’ bumper at Leopardstown in February (12/1 chance), in touch until losing her position with over half a mile left to run, ridden not long after and running green off the bridle initially, getting the idea over a furlong out and staying on nicely throughout the final furlong to take fourth behind Relegate (beaten 19 lengths). She showed the benefit for that experience when landing a mares’ bumper at Down Royal four weeks ago (8/11 market leader), racing keenly under restraint close up until allowed to take over at around the halfway stage, ridden and strongly challenged over two furlongs out but responding well to forge clear inside the final furlong and score by 5½ lengths from Caravation. That this mare was able to see things out so strongly that day despite refusing to settle for a good deal of the way gives a fair indication of the ability she possesses, as does the fact she was asked to debut at Grade 2 level (behind championship bumper winners Relegate and Getaway Katie Mai). For all she’ll be of even greater interest once tackling a stiffer test over obstacles next term, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this half sister to connections’ good jumper Tombstone confirm the promise of her two previous efforts and make the breakthrough at Listed level.