Zain Nights, a winner here on his second and final start as a two-year-old, disappointed on his return at Redcar in April but, having been gelded, he got back on the up when finishing runner-up at this venue last month.
Zain Nights took his time to get going but stayed on well in that steadily-run 11-furlong handicap, leaving the impression that he would have benefited from a stiffer test. He should appreciate this slight step up in trip and has the benefit of ace apprentice Harry Davies in the saddle. The booking of Davies, who is excellent value for his 5 lb claim, has resulted in the Jockey Uplift Flag being generated.
Next on Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings is the class-dropping Scarlet Dragon (93).
Scarlet Dragon is on a losing run that stretches back two years and he was disappointing at Haydock last time when failing to beat a rival home, but he has been given a big chance by the handicapper. He is now 10 lb lower in the weights than when not beaten far in sixth on his reappearance in a good-quality handicap at Newmarket. He looks fairly treated on that effort, never mind the sort of form that saw him win the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot a couple of years ago.
Another who drops in grade is Parachute (92§). He is only 1 lb higher than his last winning mark and has the ability to make an impact, though his attitude seems to be holding him back. He didn't convince that he was putting it all in when fourth at Epsom on his penultimate outing and it was a similar story when fifth at York last month.
Grand Scheme (89) has no questions about his attitude. He won at Nottingham last month and then dug deep to follow up over this course and distance, for all he was well positioned how the race developed. He has more on his plate here after going up 6 lb for his latest success, but is a likeable type and in good form.
Frontispiece (92) is another arriving at the top of his game. He signed off for last season with a win over course and distance and he ran another cracker here on his return when runner-up in a strong ten-furlong handicap, finding only a subsequent winner too strong. Frontispiece goes well here, remains on a fair mark after going up 4 lb for his latest effort and he should give a good account.
The field is completed by Miramichi (91) and Blow Your Horn (90). Miramichi racked up a four-timer last season but has been underwhelming on both starts this term, while Blow Your Horn is still searching for a first win on turf and others hold stronger claims.
Timeform Analyst Verdict
Though he's up against younger rivals with more compelling recent form, Scarlet Dragon is very tempting back into 0-85 company for the first time since winning back-to-back handicaps at this course in 2016. The 9-y-o gets the nod ahead of the 3-y-o in the line-up, Zain Nights, who went close upped to 11f on his handicap bow here last month and, with just four runs under his belt, probably has more to offer. Frontispiece and the hat-trick seeking Grand Scheme also command respect.
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