This is a fascinating and competitive sprint handicap, in which preference is for ARJEMIS ahead of Ryedane, Gap Princess and Sir Nod, although all four have solid claims. Our selection arrives in search of a hat-trick having won here two starts back before following up at Hamilton. Indeed she's now unbeaten in two starts over this course and distance having landed her maiden here last term and was more impressive than the winning margin last time would suggest, so we'll take her to defy the 4lb rise and overhaul Ryedane late on. Tim Easterby's charge has already landed his hat-trick and bids to make it four here. His prominent racing style is suited to the track and he's landed a draw that will enable David Allan to attack, so it really was tough to oppose him. However, he is up 5lbs and taking a two grade rise, while there's also some stiff competition for the lead which was missing when he won at Carlisle. Gap Princess won over course and distance two starts ago and also has a fine overall record at the track. The horse she beat that day has since franked the form with a good run at Chester last weekend, and she ran well off this mark last time on ground softer than ideal. Sir Nod looked a shade unlucky not to finish second here last time so must be considered off the same rating. A look at his career record though suggests that he's a shade high in the weights on balance and we'll just take him on. The Hermitage hasn't fulfilled initial promise but is coming back to form and the step back from seven to six furlongs must surely suit; she's likely to give Ryedane a battle for the lead and could go well but her wide draw isn't ideal, whilst Orpsie Boy and Galpin Junior are both slipping in the weights but for good reason. This is a really good contest for the grade and preference for Arjemis is marginal at best.
Galpin Junior (USA) 20-1 (9-4) Prominent, ridden over 2f out, unable to quicken 1f out, beaten when hampered inside final furlong, 8th of 10, 6l behind Favourite Girl (8-8) at Catterick 6f hcp 0-85 (4) gd in May.
Sir Nod 13-2 (9-2) Tracked leaders, ridden over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 3rd of 7, 3/4l behind Legal Eagle (8-8) at Catterick 6f hcp 0-85 (4) gf.
Orpsie Boy (IRE) 15-2 (8-13) Mid-division, pushed along well over 2f out, not much room well over 1f out, soon switched left, no impression, 8th of 11, 6l behind Secret Witness (8-9) at Salisbury 6f hcp 0-85 (4) gf in May.
Gap Princess (IRE) 16-1 (9-3) Raced stand side, chased leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 5th of 14, 4 1/2l behind Cornus (8-7) at Thirsk 6f hcp 0-85 (4) gd.
Ryedane (IRE) 11-8fav (10-0) Prominent, led and grabbed stands side rail over 3f out, ridden and kept on well final furlong, going away towards finish, won at Carlisle 6f hcp 0-60 (6) gd beating Red River Boy (8-9) by 2l, 8 ran.
The Hermitage (IRE) 18-1 (8-12) Tracked leader, joined leader 4f out, ridden to lead over 1f out, soon headed, kept on one pace, 3rd of 9, 3 1/2l behind Maid In Heaven (9-7) at Leicester 7f 3yo fll hcp 0-85 (4) gf.
Arjemis 9-2 (8-12) Tracked leaders, switched right towards centre and headway over 1f out, soon ridden, stayed on well under pressure to lead towards finish, driven out, won at Hamilton 6f hcp 0-75 (5) gf beating Dark Moment (10-0) by nk, 6 ran.
Baybshambles (IRE) 13-2 (9-1) Towards rear, ridden over 1f out, no impression, 8th of 10, 5l behind Riflessione (9-5) at Pontefract 5f hcp 0-75 (5) gf.