Timeform take you through the card at Haydock on Thursday evening...
"The manner of that success was convincing enough to suggest he can rate higher still..."
Timeform on Abel Tasman
18:20 - FORT JEFFERSON (1) looked as good as ever when resuming winning ways at Nottingham on Sunday, hitting the front three furlongs out and quickly forging clear. He remains potentially well treated under a 6 lb penalty here (2 lb clear on weight-adjusted ratings), and should prove too good if none the worse for those exertions, with The Detainee expected to give him most to do in this opening leg of the Placepot.
18:55 - ROMAN RIVER (8) showed there was no fluke about his encouraging reappearance and took another step forward when fourth on his handicap debut at Doncaster last month, leading two out and keeping on well to be beaten just a length and a quarter. The way he travelled that day suggests that the drop back to five furlongs is unlikely to trouble him here, and there is every reason to expect another big run from just 1 lb higher, still open to improvement and with Silvestre de Sousa taking over in the saddle.
19:25 - CERTAIN LAD (1) was strong in the betting and duly made the perfect start to his career at Redcar last month, looking a useful prospect as he forged clear in the final furlong. That impression was reinforced by the runner-up's subsequent win at Hamilton, and while a 3 lb penalty makes life tougher this evening, Certain Lad is fancied to put his experience to good use, and can maintain his unbeaten record under Ben Curtis. The newcomers Dombra and Pablo Escobar look best of the rest.
19:55 - ESCOBAR (3) contested the Jersey in 2017 and was back in the groove on just his second start for David O'Meara when third at Doncaster last time, looking the likely winner when charging a furlong out, but ultimately finding a pair of similarly well treated sorts too strong late on. This doesn't look quite so competitive and he really should take all the beating from just 1 lb higher. Alejandro and Calvados Spirit, who won on his reappearance last season and starts out for a new yard here, can give the selection most to do.
20:25 - ABEL TASMAN (8) progressed well in 2017 and bounced back from a couple of below-par efforts to regain that thread last time, improving to get off the mark in ready fashion over C&D. The manner of that success was convincing enough to suggest he can rate higher still and he makes most appeal with the Placepot in mind here, representing the in-form Ed Walker yard. Punkawallah may step up returned to better ground and is feared most ahead of Mooltazem, who was a rather unlucky loser at Ripon last week.
20:55 - GARDEN OASIS (2) caught the eye when fourth on his return at Wolverhampton, keeping on from a poor position, and appeals as the sort to take another step forward, especially now upped in trip for his handicap bow (trainer Sir Michael Stoute has an 18% strike rate with handicap debutants, too). Ad Libitum looks to be on a fair mark if his yard can keep him going the right way, while If We Can Can could easily get back on the up in first-time blinkers, and completes the shortlist in this concluding leg of the Placepot.