The six-furlong handicap for three-year-olds (19:00) at Windsor on Monday is a competitive affair and there is nothing to separate Smeaton's Light and Royal Musketeer (both rated 96) on Timeform's adjusted figures.
Both horses arrive in decent form as Smeaton's Light pulled a long way clear of the third when bumping into a talented rival at Yarmouth last time, while Royal Musketeer produced his best effort yet when successful at Ripon. Royal Musketeer failed to beat a rival home on his reappearance at Ascot, where he paid the price for racing too keenly, but he was a completely different proposition at Ripon, impressing with how he sustained his run, ultimately winning a shade cosily in a race that appeared to be a decent contest for the grade. That was only his fifth start, so it would be little surprise were he capable of raising his game slightly.
Two horses considered potential improvers are Ivasecret (87p) and Chipstead (88p) - the 'p' attached to their ratings denotes that they are likely to progress. Chipstead, a brother to Group 1 winner Oxted, is especially interesting as the form of his fifth on handicap debut could hardly be working out better - the second, third and fourth have all won subsequently. The booking of Jack Mitchell is also considered a positive - the move has resulted in the Jockey Uplift Flag being generated - but a slight concern would be the form of trainer Roger Teal, who has the Cold Trainer Flag after some up-and-down performances from his team.
In contrast, Tom Ward's team have been regularly running to form and he has the Hot Trainer Flag. He is represented by Alphonse Karr, who didn't need to improve to make the most of a good opportunity in a four-runner novice at Wolverhampton, but impressed with the style of victory, quickening well in the straight and clocking a notable closing sectional. He has the Sectional Timing Flag, which indicates he could rate higher if ridden more efficiently.
Timeform's Analyst Verdict
Lots with chances. Royal Musketeer came from last to first to score at Ripon at the start of the month and is fancied to defy a 6 lb rise in the weights. Yarmouth runner-up Smeaton's Light rates the chief threat, with course-winner Good Listener not taken lightly either in a very open handicap.
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