Strath Burn can make it second-time lucky for new handler Robert Cowell in the ebfstallions.com Conditions Stakes at Nottingham.
The four-year-old was handled by Charlie Hills until June this year when connections opted to switch the colt to Cowell’s care in the hope a switch of scenery could reignite his career.
After going down by just a short head to Twilight Son in last year’s Sprint Cup, it would not have been unreasonable to have expected Strath Burn to be at least holding his own in Pattern company this year.
However, he failed to sparkle on his return in a Windsor Listed heat in May and again at Salisbury in June.
Subsequently transferred to Cowell, Strath Burn again disappointed when beaten in a conditions race at Doncaster but one must bear in mind the winner is no slouch and front-running tactics were possibly not to Strath Burn’s liking.
Strath Burn is again vastly favoured by the conditions of this race and given he still holds a Nunthorpe entry later this month, it will be disappointing if he cannot get his head in front.
Free Zone remains one for the shortlist in the Dribuild Dash Handicap at Chepstow despite his recent ascent in the ratings.
Jamie Osborne snapped up this seven-year-old at the sales last month for just 3,500 guineas and he promptly repaid that price tag when winning at Hamilton the day after his sale. Rated 105 a couple of years ago, there might still be a bit for Osborne to work with from a mark of 84.
Hugo Palmer could have a big week in prospect with Galileo Gold a possible to run at Deauville on Sunday and Walpole is taken to give the yard a nice boost in the JW 4X4 Northallerton Handicap at Thirsk.
Winner of a Huntingdon bumper last October, Walpole has since proved equally as useful under Flat rules when landing a Wolverhampton maiden and a decent Windsor handicap.
CHEPSTOW: 2.15 Shipping Forecast, 2.45 Luduamf, 3.15 Diamonds A Dancing, 3.45 Free Zone (next best), 4.15 Pastoral Star, 4.45 Bailarico, 5.20 Bigger And Better.
LINGFIELD: 5.10 Mary Brady, 5.45 Zipedee, 6.15 Storm Melody, 6.45 Zwayyan, 7.15 Illustration, 7.45 For Goodness Sake, 8.15 Just Fab.
NOTTINGHAM: 5.30 Thello, 6.00 Looting, 6.30 Laureate, 7.00 Ivanhoe, 7.30 STRATH BURN (NAP), 8.00 Dominance, 8.30 Tahiti One.
THIRSK: 2.00 Doctor Cross, 2.30 Vaulted, 3.00 Dark Wonder, 3.30 Oriental Relation, 4.00 Walpole (treble), 4.30 White Flag, 5.00 Beadlam, 5.35 AJ Cook.