11 runners are set to go to post for this listed mares' bumper (15:45), the feature event on Tuesday's card at Market Rasen having been salvaged again after two previous attempts to stage the race were abandoned due to a frozen track.
The Oliver Sherwood-trained Queens Gamble (122) tops the field on Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings and has looked a very good prospect in winning both her starts in bumpers to date. She followed up her debut success in ready fashion in a listed mares' event at Cheltenham's November Meeting, hitting the front entering the straight and quickly forging clear from there to land the spoils by eight lengths.
That appeals as strong form (the runner-up and fourth have both won over hurdles since) and Queens Gambit has the 'Horse In Focus' Flag to underline that she is very much one to keep on the right side. Already the shortest-priced British-trained contender for the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, she can book her place in that field by defying a penalty to make it three from three.
Dysart Enos (116) could be the best of the rest having overcome inexperience to make a winning Rules debut in a Ludlow bumper in November. She ran green entering the final furlong but was already in control by that stage, ultimately winning by eight and a half lengths with plenty in hand. She too has the 'Horse In Focus' Flag and looks the type to progress and win more races for Fergal O'Brien, who also has the 'Hot Trainer' Flag to denote that his yard is in rude health.
Dan Skelton, who also has the 'Hot Trainer' Flag, saddles Take No Chances (114), a twice-raced winner in points and a good second when making her Rules debut in an Exeter bumper in December. She showed plenty of ability to be beaten just a length on the last occasion, pulling well clear of the remainder, and the winner advertised the strength of that form when following up at Sandown on Saturday. It's potentially significant that Take No Chances is being pitched in at this level for her powerful yard and another big run could be on the cards.
Runner-up in a Fairyhouse bumper last April when trained by Lorna Flower, Mellificent (113) was subsequently bought for €150,000 and had no trouble getting off the mark on her first start for Jonjo O'Neill at Uttoxeter in October, only winning by a length and three-quarters but looking value for plenty extra having been heavily eased near the finish. She's got a likeable demeanour and it's unlikely that we've seen the best of her just yet.
Similar comments apply to Alfie's Princess (112), who won her sole start in Irish points and shaped with plenty of encouragement when filling the runner-up spot on her Rules debut in a listed mares' bumper at Huntingdon in December. She couldn't quite justify the market confidence behind her starting out at listed level, but that was still a most promising start to her career, rallying well close home to pass the post just half a length behind the winner. She clearly belongs in this sort of company.
Inion Tiogair (111) and You Some Girl (103) are the other two previous winners in the line-up. Inion Tiogair put her experience to good use to make a winning debut for Grace Harris (formerly trained in Ireland by Margaret Mullins) in a Ludlow bumper last month, sticking to her task well in deteriorating conditions to land the spoils by two lengths. This will be much tougher now up in grade, though, and she is far from guaranteed to uphold the form with the third, Flying Fortune (106), who was beaten only three and a half lengths on debut and arguably deserved extra credit given that she fared best of those held up.
You Some Girl made a successful debut in a Catterick bumper in November and then ran at least as well in defeat when finishing third (beaten around 14 lengths) under a penalty at Haydock the following month. She still looked far from the finished article on the last occasion and there could be more to come from her in a first-time hood, but it's hard to see her finding the necessary progress to make an impact at this level.
Tipperary Star (109) is still a maiden after three starts in bumpers for Warren Greatrex, who also has the 'Hot Trainer' Flag', and others in this line-up probably have more scope for improvement. Woogrey (98) also has placed form having finished third on her debut at Newcastle last month, but that form is a long way shy of what is likely to be required here.
The field is completed by the newcomer Daytona Beach, who has an interesting Flat pedigree being by Dubawi and out of a listed winner over seven furlongs. She was bought for 14,000 guineas as a three-year-old and the market is likely to guide with regards what is expected of her on debut.
Timeform Analyst's Verdict:
Queens Gamble can cement her status as one of the most exciting British bumper performers with a third victory. She put a good field to bed with ease in a listed contest at Cheltenham in November and should be far too good again. Dysart Enos looked classy at Ludlow and should improve, while Mellificent and Alfie's Princess can also play a part.
Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings:
122 Queens Gamble
116 Dysart Enos
114 Take No Chances
112 Alfie's Princess
111 Inion Tiogair
109 Tipperary Star
106 Flying Fortune
103 You Some Girl
Daytona Beach (unraced)
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