AIN'T NO SURPRISE never looked like getting to grips with a couple of higher rated horses in a three-runner affair here on Thursday. But Jamie Osborne's filly faces a much easier task in this dropping back down to her winning distance and should come out best. Black Vale is proving best on the Fibresand with a win at Southwell in December while Clapperboard has been placed over 6f here but has something to prove over today's longer trip. El Duque looks up against it on today's terms but Jenny Sparks hails from an in-form yard and may do better.
Black Vale (IRE) 8-1 (8-13) Tracked leaders, ridden halfway, weakened final furlong, 6th of 7, 15l behind Captain Secret (9-7) at Southwell 6f 2yo hco 0-75 (5) fbs in Dec.
El Duque 20-1 (8-10) Tracked leaders on inside, ridden over 2f out, stayed on to take 2nd well inside final furlong, no impression on winner, 2nd of 10, 1 1/4l behind Alumina (9-4) at Kempton 6f hcp (0-55) (6) pol in Jan.
Ain't No Surprise (IRE) 7-1 (8-3) Steadied start, held up in 3rd, ridden on inside over 1f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong, almost snatched 2nd post, no chance with winner, last of 3, 2 3/4l behind Boogangoo (8-8) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f 3yo clm stks (5) pol.
Marti's Boy 100-1 (8-6) Chased leaders on inside, driven over 3f out, soon lost place, behind when edged right and unseated rider inside final furlong, in a race won by Kantara Castle (9-1) at Lingfield 7f 3yo clm stks (6) pol in Jan, 9 ran.
Clapperboard 33-1 (7-11) Slowly away, raced in last, ridden over 2f out, stayed on inside final furlong, went 3rd towards finish, no impression, 3rd of 5, 4 1/2l behind Little Big Man (8-7) at Wolverhampton 6f 3yo clm stks (6) pol in Jan.
Jenny Sparks 33-1 (8-2) Slowly into stride, held up in rear, headway over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, never nearer, 5th of 6, 4l behind Skinny Love (8-12) at Lingfield 6f 3yo sell stks (6) pol in Jan.
Romantic Bliss (IRE) 9-1 (8-2) Went left start, behind, ridden over 1f out, never a factor, 9th of 11, 8l behind Signore Piccolo (9-3) at Catterick 6f 2yo hcp 0-65 (6) gs in Oct.