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Punters expecting a sparkling return from handicap fancy Dazzling Dan

Dazzling Dan (second left) finishes third at Newmarket
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2.35 York
JCB Handicap | 7f | 3yo+ | ITV/RTV

This is one of the most open handicaps of the day but punters have piled into Dazzling Dan.

Dazzling Dan is the horse with the best recent form, but his last two runs have come under Ray Dawson, who is a superb apprentice. He claimed 3lb off Dazzling Dan's back on both occasions and is excellent value for the allowance.

Shane Kelly now takes over and he doesn’t claim. So Dazzling Dan has, in effect, gone up 3lb.

The counter argument is that Dazzling Dan has been a lot better than his BHA mark of 91. In fact, he has a career-high Racing Post Rating of 107, which came under David Probert, who didn't claim. Kelly also partnered him when he recorded an RPR of 97 in 2019.

Gifted Ruler recorded an RPR just 1lb lower than on his last outing at Newmarket, but that was almost a year ago and he returns from a long absence on his first run after being gelded.

Trainer Tom Dascombe has just a 12 per cent strike-rate (11-94; -£28.55 to £1 level stake) with runners on their first start after a gelding operation, but he is 1-3 with those who were returning from 350 days off the track after gelding, so fitness shouldn't be an issue.

Dascombe has also booked Tom Marquand to ride and they have teamed up for a winner, two seconds and a third from just six runners in the last five seasons. That is clearly a plus.

The other interesting jockey booking is Ella McCain on Golden Apollo for Tim Easterby. They have an 18 per cent strike-rate in the last five years for a £1 level-stake profit of £27.83. 
Race analysis by Graeme Rodway 


Busy week for Sly

Pam Sly kicks off successive weekends of high class action with her Flat team when Dazzling Dan, who ran a decent third at Newmarket last time, tackles ten opponents in this.

The five-year-old, who was a winner on his previous start at Yarmouth, looks to have every chance but Sly is also excited about next weekend when she hopes to have a notable runner in a Listed race at Pontefract.

Pam Sly: trains Dazzling Dan, who looks to have every chance

Eileendover, Sly's top jumps prospect and three-time bumper winner, is expected to have her second start on the Flat in the Listed Pontefract Castle Fillies Stakes next Sunday.

The Cambridgeshire-based trainer said: "Dazzling Dan is in good order and we're running here rather than a race at the track yesterday, which looked easier, but hopefully it comes off.

"We've a busy week as Eileendover is going to run in a Listed race after her second on her first start on the Flat at Haydock. We were delighted with that as she was conceding 17lb to the winner and hopefully she can now get some black type."
Reporting by David Milnes


What they say 

Paul Midgely, trainer of Ostilio
He's run poorly on both starts for us so far, but he seems in a better place at home and hopefully can run a nice race. It's not easy in these Saturday handicaps with top weight but they don't give weight to bad horses. 

Tom Marquand, rider of Gifted Ruler
His latest run in June last year was a huge effort being very unlucky to have been nabbed on the line, and if he can reproduce that level of form first up he should be extremely competitive. 

Adam Ryan, assistant to Kevin, trainer of Queen’s Sargent
He had a lot of weight at Beverley last time where the tacky ground was against him but this should suit him better and he's a strong traveller.

Roger Fell, trainer of Admirality
He was in a race at York on Friday, which he could have won, but one of the owners wanted to run him here instead. It's a tougher ask but hopefully we'll get a piece of it. 

Tony Coyle, trainer of Broken Spear
He ran better than his finishing position would suggest at Beverley last time when the gaps wouldn't open for him and goes there with an each-way chance. 

Richard Hills, assistant racing manager to Shadwell Estates, owners of Baashir
Things didn't go right for him last time but if he gets the rub of the green he would have an each-way chance in what looks a typically tight Saturday handicap.

Read more on Saturday's action:

2.00 York: 'I'd dearly love to win this one' – amateurs keen to shine in Queen Mother's Cup

2.15 Sandown: could Atalis Bay be the latest sprinter to take the Scurry en route to stardom?

3.05 York: 'the Ebor is very much in our thinking with Makawee' – David O'Meara

3.40 York: 'he's very much on the up' – progressive sprinters clash on the Knavesmire


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Dazzling Dan is in good order and we're running here rather than a race at the track yesterday, which looked easier, but hopefully it comes off
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