by Chaos Rules
Busted (KDS) has had a very good season with two places and a win in qualifiers but does seem better over 1 1/4M and the penalty is problematic. Smooth Operator looks to have won his last qualifier despite trainers instructions to the contrary. Clearly very talented (stays up to 1 1/2M) he may be able to shrug off the penalty and take this.
Grim Reaper (NPMJ) has also had a good season including a qualifier win over 1M and was ridden with restraint next time out so expect a better showing in the final.
Release The Foal On The Nation (STARDOM STABLE) won a big maiden and has a qualifier win over 1M but will struggle in a quick race over this trip.
Rocket Man (TRUE BLUE STABLE) dead-heated with Pope Horatio for a close third behind Smooth Operator and Prince Charming. He has placed in all three qualifier runs and is unpenalized so looks sure to run a big race.
Sent A Gem (RAYLEIGH DOWNS STABLE) won a Juvenile Graded Gold race over 1 1/4M and followed up with a qualifier win over the same trip when easily beating Never Passionate and Busted so may find this a little short with the added burden of a penalty.
Neverland Nation (BLACK CAT RACING) has had plenty racing but remains a maiden and looks sure to struggle.
Prince Charming (ANFIELD ROAD) has had an excellent season having been out of the frame just once in eight starts. He was 1L second to Smooth Operator when last tackling this trip and comes here without a penalty so must go well. Northern Powerhouse is better at 1M and has plenty to find here.
Unleash The Beast (CLOSUTTON COGNAC) beat Grim Reaper an easy 2L very early in the season following her big maiden win and was running over an inadequate trip when the form was comprehensively reversed in her only subsequent qualifier run later in the season. Likely to go well despite the penalty.
Heels For An Explorer (BLACK CAT RACING) despite needing nine runs to break her duck the overall form is not too shabby so couldn’t be easily dismissed.
Sophie Jones (CHARNWOOD STABLES) has no stamina/penalty issues and has run well enough to be considered.
ANALYSIS: SMOOTH OPERATOR is taken to glide past Prince Charming at the finish.
ODDS: SMOOTH OPERATOR 3/1 Fav, Prince Charming 7/2, Unleash The Beast 5/1, Grim Reaper 11/2, Rocket Man 6/1, Sent A Gem 7/1, Busted 8/1, Release The Foal On The Nation 9/1, Heels For An Explorer 10/1, Sophie Jones 11/1, Northern powerhouse 16/1, Neverland Nation 18/1,