Kevin Ryan’s Brando may have bumped into an above-average winner last time out and can be given one more chance to open his account in the catterickbridge.co.uk Novice Stakes at the North Yorkshire venue.
After a reasonable introduction at Haydock in May on soft ground he was thrown in at the deep end for the Convivial Maiden at York.
Unsurprisingly he was a little out of his depth in that company, plenty of winners have subsequently emerged from that race, but he has shown enough in two starts since to suggest that he is up to winning a race like this.
He was third on his return to York over five and a half furlongs, finishing in front of La Cuesta who has won since, as has the second, Beau Eile, while last time out he was slightly unfortunate as he stumbled coming out of the stalls, leaving himself an awful lot to do.
As it happens, the winner, Handsome Dude, may have prevailed anyway as David Barron’s youngster was not hard pressed to score.
Brando is well treated by the conditions of this race and it looks a shrewd bit of placing by Ryan.
John Quinn’s Forced Family Fun has not been seen since dotting up at Newcastle in April, but runners from this yard do not usually lack for fitness and he should take all the beating in the Racing UK on Sky 432 Handicap.
A decent juvenile hurdler, he won off a career-high mark at Gosforth Park and the handicapper could have been much harder on him than the 7lb rise he dished out.
He won by nearly four lengths, heavily eased down, and the slow early gallop was all against him.
The Richard Fahey-trained Royal Connoisseur may be worth sticking with in the first division of the David Barker Memorial Handicap now he has got the winning habit.
Fahey was a close friend of the late Barker, and would dearly love to win the race named in his honour.
* Selections -
CATTERICK: 12.50 BRANDO (NAP), 1.20 Forced Family Fun, 1.50 Royal Connoisseur, 2.20 Half A Billion, 2.50 Comino, 3.20 Beyeh, 3.50 Jolie Blonde, 4.20 Sir Geoffrey.
FFOS LAS: 1.10 Fletchers Flyer, 1.40 Cruising Bye, 2.10 Valid Point, 2.40 King Massini, 3.10 Abbeygrey, 3.40 Rusty Nail, 4.10 Beast Of Burden.
WINDSOR: 1.00 Navigate, 1.30 Magic Dancer, 2.00 Solo Hunter, 2.30 So Noble, 3.00 Granola, 3.30 Art Scholar, 4.00 Rockie Road, 4.30 King’s Road.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 4.40 Dream Sika, 5.10 Imaginary Diva, 5.40 Royal Brave, 6.10 St Paul De Vence, 6.40 Deebaj, 7.10 Ring Of Fire, 7.40 Manolito.
DOUBLE: Brando and Magic Dancer.