Wick Powell is a promising youngster who can prove to be ahead of the handicapper at Musselburgh tomorrow.
The 32,000 guineas yearling made a successful debut at Southwell in April and that form has worked out extremely well because the runner-up has won twice since then, while the third horse home is also a subsequent winner.
Wick Powell was then absent for 114 days before reappearing at Thirsk last weekend where he lined up off a handicap mark of 80 for a competitive nursery. Despite the lay-off, the colt was still sent off a hot favourite, but he dwelt at the start and was soon in arrears. But jockey Graham Gibbons got him into full stride by halfway and they were bearing down on the leaders when denied a clear run inside the final furlong.
Gibbons deftly switched his mount right and they stormed home, but were beaten a neck in a photo finish with a previous winner close up in third.
The handicapper has raised Wick Powell by 2lb for that effort, but the revised mark does not come into force until Saturday, so trainer David Baron was quick to enter his youngster for the British Stallions Studs EBF Conditions Stakes (2.30) on the East Lothian track. All four of his opponents in this five-furlong dash are winners, but Wick Powell is 2lb better in than he would be just 24 hours later and that recent run should have blown away the cobwebs, so he gets the vote.
Gibbons can make it a double with Symposium in the EBF Scottish Premier Series Fillies Handicap (3.20). The three-year-old cost 70,000 guineas, but showed plenty of ability as a juvenile, winning at Wolverhampton and running well in a valuable nursery at Newmarket last autumn.
She was a close fourth on her reappearance at Wolverhampton in May and was then denied a clear run at Chester. It was similar story at Windsor ten days ago where she was well backed, but failed to find a gap when needed and eventually finished third. Symposium steps up a furlong tomorrow and can make the trek from the Newmarket base of trainer William Haggas pay off.
I expect another raider from Newmarket – Steve Rogers – to take the main event – the £25,000 Archerfield Cup (4.00). The five-year-old has six victories to his credit, the latest on his reappearance at Kempton in April and he then ran with credit in the Chester Cup and the Northumberland Plate.
The gelding dropped back to this trip of 14 furlongs at Ascot and ran a cracker, going down by just half a length in a driving finish. The handicapper has put Roger Varian’s charge up by just a solitary pound and he can go one better here.
Simon Walker is always hard to beat in amateur events and can steer Rosette to victory in the Edgen Murray Amateur Riders’ Handicap (5.00). The combination got home by the minimum margin in a similar race at Doncaster recently and a 2lb hike in the ratings may not stop the filly from following up.
Selections: 2.30 Wick Powell; 3.20 Symposium; 4.00 Steve Rogers; 5.00 Rosette.