7:00am Wednesday 4th June 2014
Fort Bastion hit the bar at Listed level when last seen and must surely have a fair chance of handicap compensation at Nottingham.
Ruth Carr’s charge tackles a hot-looking renewal of the totepool Home of Pool Betting Handicap, with Royal Ascot winner Remote and multiple Group-placed contender Artigiano boasting some excellent bits of form.
However, Remote will be having his first outing since that Ascot win which could be a tough ask under top weight while Artigiano was one of the horses caught up in the Godolphin drugs scandal, meaning he is now trying to make up for lost time after a year on the sidelines.
Those factors could leave the door open for Fort Bastion who is certainly in excellent heart now he has got his eye in this term.
His first runs were satisfactory but he stepped up a gear when winning the Thirsk Hunt Cup at the beginning of May, before going on to claim an excellent second behind Navajo Chief in the Hambleton Stakes at York’s Dante meeting.
Fort Bastion is ideally delivered at the last possible moment which means things do not always work out in his favour and that proved the case at York as he hit the front a touch too early and was subsequently short-headed on the line.
A 3lb rise is possibly a bit steep but given he was rated 106 at his peak a couple of years ago, a perch of 97 is not totally beyond him and his race fitness may just tell.
Bragging can come out on top in the Try A totetrifecta Today EBF Stallions Fillies’ Handicap after shedding her maiden tag in style at Windsor.
A fair third on her debut at Lingfield at the start of May, she turned out again just over two weeks later to win by two lengths at the Thamesside venue.
She is clearly not one of the star performers in Sir Michael Stoute’s team but has been given a chance with an initial mark of 82.
Dreese has made great strides of late and can continue on an upward curve as he switches to turf for the Ripon Farm Services Handicap.
James Tate’s charge had just one juvenile start last year, turning out at the backend of the campaign to finish third in a Wolverhampton maiden.
He then returned to that track in March to open his account with a stylish success before overcoming a tardy start to again strike gold in handicap company at the same track in April.
Dreese now tackles turf for the first time and he should be up to the task after being given a few weeks to freshen up.
Bear Behind appeared to have lost his way a bit over the last season or so but after roaring back to form with wins at Thirsk and Haydock, he merits the utmost respect in the Directors Cup.
Tom Dascombe built his confidence with an easy victory in a seller before raising his sights again for a competitive heat on Merseyside, which he duly won after making virtually every yard.
The handicapper has whacked him back up to a mark of 93 but that still leaves him 11lb short of his best ever rating.
Serata Di Gala was far too keen last time out but should fare better if she can settle in the Betdaq Supporting The Injured Jockeys Fund Handicap at Kempton.
Milgen Bay is the pick in Fontwell’s 32RedBet.com Handicap Chase after his recent second at Southwell.
SELECTIONS: FONTWELL: 2.10 Shubaat, 2.40 Very Noble, 3.10 Floral Spinner, 3.40 Thornton Alice, 4.10 Milgen Bay, 4.40 Torran Sound, 5.10 Queens Bay, 5.40 Mount Haven.
KEMPTON: 6.00 Winter Thunder, 6.30 Xinbama, 7.00 Telefono, 7.30 Global Leader, 8.00 Yasir, 8.30 Serata Di Gala, 9.00 Aeolian Blue.
NOTTINGHAM: 2.20 Three Robins, 2.50 Rozene, 3.20 Jontleman, 3.50 FORT BASTION (NAP), 4.20 Bragging, 4.50 Jarlath, 5.20 Rockweiller.
PUNCHESTOWN: 5.50 Back To Balloo, 6.20 Lambro, 6.50 Kostar, 7.20 Noble King, 7.50 Beach Of Falesa, 8.20 Kalann, 8.50 Hash Brown.
RIPON: 6.40 Marmalad, 7.10 Petergate, 7.40 Dreese, 8.10 Bear Behind, 8.40 Epsom Hill, 9.10 Choisan.
SOUTHWELL: 2.30 Putin, 3.00 Zain Dream, 3.30 Grosmont, 4.00 Stand Guard, 4.30 Repetition, 5.00 Black Vale, 5.30 Coach Montana.
DOUBLE: Fort Bastion and Bear Behind.
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