HAMISH McGONAGALL has a solid chance of gaining a deserved first win of the season. Buachaill Donna, Wi Dud and Barney McGrew head the long list of worthy alternatives in this fiendishly competitive handicap. Barney McGrew made good progress as a four-year-old but has struggled with the handicapper since then. However, he has also been tremendously consistent and, as he has proven ability to act at this track, the Michael Dodds-trained gelding shouldn't be underestimated. Wi Dud hasn't won for almost three years and the assessor has again been very slow in cutting him some slack. Still, Kevin Ryan's charge does take an ease in grade today, so could give his 7lb claimer a memorable experience if everything came up trumps for him. Buachaill Donna has been knocking on the door lately and is hitting top form at the right time. He was a half length ahead of the selection when they met in the Gosforth Cup in June and should make a bold bid to uphold the standings. However, the tactics of that Newcastle race conspired against Hamish McGonagall and, as he has little option but to be involved in the thick of the action from his middle draw, the Tim Easterby-trained gelding is fancied to turn the tables today.
Wi Dud 7-4fav (8-11) Stumbled start, chased leaders, not clear run and switched left over 1f out, kept on to take 3rd near finish, no chance with winner, 2nd of 6, 2 1/4l behind Biniou (8-11) at Nottingham 5f cond Stakes (3) gs.
Intrepid Jack 20-1 (9-9) Chased leaders, pushed along over 2f out, every chance 1f out, no extra well inside final furlong, 6th of 19, 3l behind Knot In Wood (9-4) at York 6f hcp 105 (2) gd in Jul.
Buachaill Dona (IRE) 7-1 (9-13) Behind, headway and edged right inside final furlong, ran on well, not reached winner, 2nd of 9, 1 1/2l behind Group Therapy (9-10) at Ascot 5f hcp 105 (2) gd.
Barney McGrew (IRE) 16-1 (9-3) Raced stand side, behind most of way, 21st of 26, 15l behind Genki (9-1) at Goodwood 6f hcp (2) sft.
Strike Up The Band 16-1 (9-0) Prominent early, chased leaders, weakened inside final furlong, 9th of 10, 5l behind Borderlescott (9-0) at Chester 5f Listed stks (1) gf in Jul.
Sonny Red (IRE) 9-1 (9-4) Raced far side, always towards rear, 24th of 26, 16l behind Genki (9-1) at Goodwood 6f hcp (2) sft.
Hamish McGonagall 9-2fav (9-4) Chased leaders, hard ridden and every chance over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong, not reached winner, 2nd of 19, 1/2l behind Judge 'n Jury (9-1) at Ascot 5f hcap (2) gf in Jul.
Brave Prospector 25-1 (9-5) Raced stand side, outpaced in rear, headway over 1f out, ran on strongly inside final furlong, 7th of 26, 6l behind Genki (9-1) at Goodwood 6f hcp (2) sft.
Fol Hollow (IRE) 11-2 (9-9) In touch, headway halfway, soon ridden to challenge, weakened inside final furlong, 4th of 9, 2l behind Group Therapy (9-10) at Ascot 5f hcp 105 (2) gd.
Captain Dunne (IRE) 16-1 (9-11) Led, headed over 1f out, soon hard ridden, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 9, 4l behind Group Therapy (9-10) at Ascot 5f hcp 105 (2) gd.
River Falcon 16-1 (8-9) In rear, hanging left 2f out, never on terms, 11th of 19, 6l behind Knot In Wood (9-4) at York 6f hcp 105 (2) gd in Jul.
Peak District (IRE) 14-1 (9-6) Quickly away, led near stands side rail and soon clear, reduced lead when hung right over 1f out, headed and weakened inside final furlong, 10th of 19, 3 1/2l behind Judge 'n Jury (9-1) at Ascot 5f hcap (2) gf in Jul.
Northern Dare (IRE) 7-1 (9-8) Raced far side, held up behind leaders, ridden to go 2nd that group and overall final 100 yards but not reach winner, 2nd of 22, 1 1/2l behind Johannes (9-0) at Goodwood 6f hcap (2) gd in Jul.
Green Manalishi 33-1 (9-1) Mid-division, ridden halfway, soon weakened and eased, last of 19, 14l behind Judge 'n Jury (9-1) at Ascot 5f hcap (2) gf in Jul.
Cake (IRE) 11-2 (9-10) Chased leaders over 3f, 11th of 12, 10l behind Canadian Danehill (9-2) at Sandown 5f hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Jul.
Tabaret 10-1 (9-11) Chased leaders, ridden over 1f out, kept on same pace, 7th of 11, 6l behind Red Cape (9-0) at Ripon 6f hcp 0-95 (3) gd.
Kaldoun Kingdom (IRE) 9-1 (8-10) Mid-division, headway under pressure over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 4th of 19, 2 3/4l behind Knot In Wood (9-4) at York 6f hcp 105 (2) gd in Jul.
Indian Trail 10-1 (9-6) Raced stands' side, prominent, went 2nd that group over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 10th of 22, 6l behind Johannes (9-0) at Goodwood 6f hcap (2) gd in Jul.
Piscean (USA) 20-1 (9-7) Raced stands side, towards rear, ridden over 2f out, moderate late headway, 12th of 23, 4 1/2l behind Blue Jack (9-6) at Goodwood 5f hcp 0-90 (3) gs in Jul.
Aegean Dancer 16-1 (8-7) Raced far side, in touch, chased winner over 1f out until no extra well inside final furlong, 7th of 16, 2 1/2l behind Pavershooz (8-9) at Ayr 5f hcap (2) gd in Jul.