Another decent heat where MY GACHO is given the vote ahead of Ancient Cross and Nightjar. The Mark Johnston-trained pick has already won twice from marks higher than today's 84, and this 7f is his optimum trip. Good ground is not a problem for him and it is time he got his nose in front once again. Ancient Cross was well placed by Mick Easterby to end last season with two wins from his last three starts, both being on good going. He is now 7lbs higher than that most recent Catterick success and with the yard in decent form he should be fit enough to put up a good show. Nightjar ran well after a break at Thirsk earlier in the month but has gone up 3lbs for that defeat, and looks best on the Fibresand, so we will take him on, while Summer Dancer is slipping back towards a winning mark and should get very competitive. Game Lad ran no sort of race at Newcastle last time, having won there a race earlier, and a further 2lb rise is a negative, so we hope that My Gacho can return to winning ways.
Joseph Henry 14-1 (8-12) Tracked leaders, effort over 2f out, soon under pressure and one pace, 5th of 11, 7l behind Autumn Blades (9-6) at Chester 1m hcp 0-105 (2) gs.
Nightjar (USA) 6-1 (9-3) Tracked leaders, ridden and effort when not much room 1f out, rallied inside final furlong to dead heat for 2nd post, 2nd of 14, 1 3/4l behind Keys of Cyprus (8-13) at Thirsk 7f hcp 0-85 (4) gd.
My Gacho (IRE) 10-1 (8-13) Chased leaders, hard ridden to challenge well over 1f out, soon weakened, 3rd of 7, 4 1/2l behind Mujood (9-4) at Brighton 1m hcp 0-90 (3) gf.
Ra Junior (USA) 7-1 (9-4) Towards rear, switched outside and ridden over 2f out, stayed on under pressure final furlong, never nearer, 6th of 14, 5l behind Keys of Cyprus (8-13) at Thirsk 7f hcp 0-85 (4) gd.
Summer Dancer (IRE) 22-1 (8-13) Pulled hard, soon prominent on outer, weakened final furlong, last of 7, 11l behind Danehillsundance (8-5) at Beverley 1m hcp 0-85 (4) gd.
Game Lad 9-1 (8-4) Held up in touch, ridden over 2f out, soon weakened, 8th of 9, 12l behind Dubai Dynamo (9-4) at Newcastle 7f hcp 0-90 (3) gf.
Ancient Cross 7-2fav (9-1) Held up towards rear, headway when not clear run well over 1f out, switched right and shaken up inside final furlong, led final 100 yards, ran on well, won at Catterick 7f hcp 0-75 (5) gd in Oct beating Ishiadancer (8-12) by 2l, 13 ran.
Rio Cobolo (IRE) 25-1 (10-0) Mid-division, not clear run from over 2f out until headway over 1f out, kept on under pressure inside final furlong, 4th of 12, 2l behind Dream Win (9-0) at Redcar 7f hcp 0-70 (5) gf.