Prosper with Ocean Tempest
Man On The Spot previews Saturday's Channel 4 action with Ocean Tempest worth backing on his return to handicap company.
AJJAADD won the 2011 renewal in soft ground and looks to have every chance again. Ted Powell's sprinter finished ahead of Tagula Night and subsequent winner Judge 'n Jury over track and trip last month and the latter is closely matched with Asian Trader on earlier running. Pearl Blue was also behind Asian Trader before scoring at Newmarket last month but Eccleston won in testing going over course and distance back in April and has claims on that form. Iffranesia has impressive form figures but has come up short in this grade before, including at Doncaster last time when finishing behind third-placed Jamaican Bolt, who loves the mud.
Ballesteros is looking to end a long losing run and showed signs of a resurgence at Ascot off today's mark. Forest Edge has returned to form and bids for hat-trick after winning at Ffos Las but was a long way behind B FIFTY TWO over track and trip in June. The latter flew home by three lengths on that occasion and is dropped in class after a good effort at York. Pearl Acclaim has also been running well in better company but could have been better drawn, as could the 2012 winner Ballista and recent Ripon runner-up Confessional.
Most of the leading contenders will be hoping for some rain but that doesn't apply to KINGSGATE NATIVE. He found only Sole Power too good on fast ground in the Palace House at Newmarket earlier in the year and a repeat of that should see him bang there at the finish. Pearl Secret finished behind Sole Power in the King's Stand at Ascot last time and would appreciate some cut, as would both recent Deauville winner Mirza and Mecca's Angel. But Rocky Ground should cope and he won over track and trip last season when beating Addictive Dream. The remainder are decent handicappers but with a bit to find in this company.
There was cut in the ground when AKTABANTAY finished second in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket. He was a couple of lengths clear of third-placed Cock Of The North and makes most appeal. Future Empire and Elm Park were both impressive maiden winners and deserve to take their chance in this company but Pallister did not appear to last home over 7f having taken up the running early in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last time. Lexington Times looks to have plenty to find at this level.
This year's Lincoln winner OCEAN TEMPEST drops back into handicap company for this. He's won twice at the track before and may well shrug off top weight if allowed to set his own pace. Alejandro and Johnno also like to dominate but will find that difficult with a high draw to contend with. Apostle is upped in class off a higher mark after scoring over track and trip last time but Heavy Metal and Russian Realm should cope better in this grade. Course and distance winner Big Johnny D is another to consider.
Three-year-olds have a good record in this and FINTRY has the form to go very close. Andre Fabre's filly stepped up on an earlier Listed win to land a Group 2 at Chantilly in June and the likely soft ground won't be a problem. But it might be for Zurigha, who has something to find on earlier running at Epsom with Odeliz. The latter will handle the surface but Group 3 winner Zibelina is unproven in soft and has been off the track since May. The remainder have plenty to find with the selection on today's terms, including dual handicap winner Water Hole and Listed winner Audacia.
WHIPLASH WILLIE ran well in the Henry 11 Stakes at Sandown in May having made a winning return over today's trip at Salisbury. He clearly goes well fresh so gets the vote. Big Orange finished fourth in the Queen's Vase at Ascot in June but takes on older horses for the first time today. Special Meaning has a shout on last week's third at Newmarket and De Rigueur also makes a quick reappearance having failed to figure in the Ebor last weekend - he's preferred to Noble Silk, a winner over 2m earlier in the season.
CLON BRULEE ran out an impressive winner in soft ground at Newmarket last time with Tinghir back in third. He also carried top weight on that occasion and today's apprentice Mikey Ennis negates a 7lb rise in the weights. Ajmany keeps threatening to land one of these valuable handicaps but the going is a worry for him while this is tougher than the Ascot contest Forgotten Hero won last month. Mount Shamsan is upped in class after scoring at Ripon but has plenty of scope and makes more appeal than prolific Polytrack winner Treasure The Ridge and recent Ripon runner-up Calm Attitude.