After an agonising five-out-of-six at Pontefract yesterday, Keith Melrose is back for a shot at the Windsor Placepot.
"Although not in the traditional Placepot mould, Couloir Extreme is not to be ignored..."
18:40 - It may be risky with a once-raced juvenile, but Sebs Sensei has the combination of experience, a good level of form and Richard Hannon's tutelage that marks him out as a potential banker. The only real doubt is whether this drop back in trip over a less-galloping track will suit as well.
19:10 - There's an easier option for banking in leg two, especially if all eight declared stand their ground. Star Pearl is bred to be useful and has hinted towards that in two starts so far, taking a step up when second over a similar trip at Nottingham, so we can be confident of him making the first three at least this time.
19:40 - Messila Star is of course respected as a completely unexposed Noseda inmate, but with there being plenty in the way of alternatives we can go against the projected favourite. First of all there's George Cinq, who's been knocking on the door all season, progressive all the while and shouldn't be inconvenienced by this slightly-longer trip. Harry Bosch, a C&D winner early in the month, is another solid option. He too has improved in recent months and, assuming he doesn't react adversely to the removal of blinkers, should be thereabouts.
20:10 - It looks tough to pick between the forward-going pair of Robot Boy and Noble Deed. Luckily, as we've been frugal with lines so far we don't have to: we can take both and be confident of getting through to leg five.
20:40 - Plenty of these fillies and mares are regulars on the all-weather, creating some uncertainty as they return to turf. Hip Hip Hooray could be deemed the opposite, having superior form on turf last year and returning to this surface back on a winning mark. She's been off since February, which is the biggest question mark. We're going to take surface concerns as secondary to Langham Lily's overall progressive profile; her recent second to Standpoint on the back of an absence rates as about the best form in this field. A chance is also what we're taking on Gaelic Ice, who might be better suited by a short trip, but this is a sharp a test as she's faced over 10 furlongs and she's among the least exposed of these.
21:10 - Although not in the traditional Placepot mould, Couloir Extreme is not to be ignored: his eight-length win over C&D last time marks him as still well ahead of his mark under a penalty. Bank on him to take us home should we get this far.
18:40 - 8
19:10 - 8
19:40 - 1, 9
20:10 - 3, 5
20:40 - 6, 8, 12
21:10 - 1
= 12 lines