Midnight Gold is a very consistent performer and Simply Smashing stands a good chance in this contest but we prefer to side with MUTUAL RESPECT here. The selection won well at Fakenham two races ago and although not entirely fluent at Southwell when finishing third behind Lord Gunnerslake this may have been partly to do with turning out only three days after winning. With more of a rest before this race and having won from 5lbs higher Mutual Respect stands a really good chance in this one. Midnight Gold also won two races ago and that was on his seasonal debut at Ffos Las. This Peter Bowen trained gelding should be competitive and is only a pound higher than when winning at the Carmarthenshire track in April. Simply Smashing ran poorly at Perth last time out but prior to this he was a very comfortable winner at Hexham. The ground here should suit and should challenge our selection. The Artful Fox improved last time out when finishing third but was still twenty four lengths behind the winner and it would take a sly performance to get a victory on this occasion. In an interesting first race on the card we give our vote to Mutual Respect.
Bill's Echo 7-1 (10-1) Behind, moderate headway from 3 out, 5th of 12, 14l behind King Troy (11-12) at Stratford 2m 5f hcp chs 0-140 (2) gf in May.
Midnight Gold 9-2 (11-7) Led, headed 4 out, driven and outpaced next, soon ridden stayed on under pressure to go 3rd flat, no impression with leading pair, 3rd of 9, 11l behind Lyster (10-11) at Huntingdon 3m 2f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gf in May.
Mutual Respect (IRE) 11-4 (11-12) Made most, blundered and headed 11th, weakened before 2 out, rallied from last, went 3rd near finish, 3rd of 6, 7l behind Lord Gunnerslake (10-9) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gd in May.
Simply Smashing (IRE) 12-1 (10-10) Held up behind, pushed along 7th, tailed off next, pulled up before 17th, in a race won by Omix D'or (10-9) at Perth 3m 7f hcp chs 0-120 (3) sft in Apr, 17 ran.
Lindseyfield Lodge (IRE) 12-1 (10-11) Led headed before 3 out, weakened before next, 7th of 13, 17l behind Chicago Alley (10-5) at Market Rasen 2m 4f 5yo nov hcp (4) gd in May.
Teenando (IRE) 6-1 (10-9) Tracked leaders, lost place from 2nd, in rear from 2 out, 5th of 10, 49l behind Mountskip (10-10) at Hexham 2m Am nov hcp hdl (5) gf in May.
The Artful Fox 11-1 (9-7) Mid-division, reminders and lost place 12th, rallied before next, close up when hampered 2 out, weakened after last, 3rd of 10, 24l behind Volcanic Rock (11-10) at Cartmel 3m 2f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd in May.