A Royal occasion at Hamilton

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  • A Royal occasion at Hamilton

At the grand old age of ten, Royal Dignitary appears to have found a new lease of life. Trained by Dandy Nicholls, he has managed to win four of his last six starts, albeit at a low level. He can continue his rich vein of form by winning the RacingUK Selling Stakes at 8.35pm, which appears no more difficult, a task than his recent conquests. He is a habitual front-runner and he looks guaranteed to be allowed an easy lead here, with no obvious rival likely to contest that role. His run last time out could even be considered an improvement when making all the running in a Carlisle claimer, beating one of today’s rivals Finsbury by a comfortable three parts of a length. He should have no problems with the track either, having won over this course and distance in the past. It is also worth noting that Dandy Nicholls won this event last year, so it is likely he has had this race in mind for Royal Dignitary. He appears to have everything in his favour here and looks impossible to oppose.

Bed Fellow looks likely to challenge for minor honours here and appears to be in good form. He made a promising seasonal debut last time out when finishing second to Sports Casual in a handicap at Ayr. That was a much better grade than this and he may well appreciate the drop in class, but he looks to have a difficult task off level weights against Royal Dignitary, who is officially rated more than twenty pounds higher.

Finsbury has been running well this season and was rewarded for a string of decent efforts, when scoring in handicap company at Carlisle last time out. It was a particularly good effort as he was hampered several times during the race, but came through to lead well inside the final furlong and beat Call Of Duty by a length. However, there does not appear to be any reason why he should reverse previous form with Royal Dignitary on four pound worse terms and will probably have to settle for a place at best.

Royal Straight could be the one to take advantage if the Dandy Nicholls runner should run below par. On his penultimate start at Nottingham, he turned what looked like a competitive race on paper, into a procession. Travelling well throughout, he came through to lead at the two furlong marker and quickened right away to score by six lengths from Major Promise. But it was a pretty disappointing effort when dropped into a claimer at York when last seen out, having said that, it was a pretty hot race by claiming standards so it would be no surprise to see him perform much better here.

San Silvestro has had just the one start on the flat this season, which came in a poor selling race at Leicester. He never looked likely to win at any stage there and finished someway behind one of today’s rivals Finsbury. Last time out he switched codes for a hurdle race at Sedgefield but in truth made little impact there either. He looks to have an impossible task at these weights.

 Satellite has been a decent performer in the past and last season, managed two wins in decent handicaps at Musselburgh and Ayr. He was dropped into claiming company last time out, and although far from disgraced in finishing second to Abbodanza, he would have to improve on that to win here. He is most likely to make a bold bid for a place though.

Johnston’s Kiwi is impossible to assess as he is remarkably making his debut on the flat at the age of seven. His only public form on a racetrack came last season in three National Hunt flat races in Ireland, where he ran with some promise on his final start, finishing fifth behind Red Star Boy. Quite how that form equates to this race is very difficult to say, but he is probably best watched in this.


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