Three horses have been selected who are strong stayers at their respective trips, so hopefully the stiff finish will bring their stamina into play.
Somehow, after seven runs, COOPERATION remains to be a maiden. He has managed to hit the crossbar four times out of those seven races, and has bumped into a few decent horses along the way, including Spycatcher and Barney's Bay. The form of his recent second has worked out well, with the winner following up in a Class 4, and winning convincingly. On that day, Cooperation was staying on strongly, which gives me the impression that this stiff, uphill track will bring out the improvement needed to win his first race.
He has been gelded since his last run, so hopefully that will be a benefit.
Lightening Company is the current favourite, and though he is unexposed and won well on debut, it could be a tough task to win under a penalty.
Grant Tuer's stable is going great guns this season, and there is no reason why HART STOPPER can't add another winner to his tally. Grant has done extremely well with horses who he has obtained from other yards, and in recent runs it seems that Hart Stopper will be another who will give him a win after transferring to his stable.
He has gone very close in his last three runs, finishing runner-up twice, and third in his most recent run. Similar to Cooperation, I think that Hamilton will play to his strengths, as he is always staying on strongly over 6f, and this stiff finish should help bring his stamina out when the opposition's petrol is emptying.
He's on a very good mark of 72, as he has previously won of as high as 84 when he was trained by Stuart Williams.
This is a drop in class from his last two races, as he's now reverting back into a Class 5 which should be a big help, as this race doesn't look as strong as his previous assignments.
A horse who I backed a few times last year was LADY CELIA, and I think Richard Fahey has found her another great chance of bagging another win.
This filly loved this track last year, winning twice and finishing runner-up from three runs. This year she has ran a few nice races in defeat, with a third over C&D most recently. The form of that race has worked out well with the first and second both finishing in the same order at Ayr, but they both pulled 4 lengths clear, which suggests they were both on very good handicap marks. Lady Celia managed to get within 0.75 lengths of the two when they met at Hamilton, and the next horse was 3.75 lengths back in fourth, so that seems strong form.
The quick ground is a slight concern, but she's won on good ground before, so she should handle the fast ground. She stays on very strongly over 5f so I'd expect to see a strong late run. Hopefully, a fast pace will be set so she has something to aim at.
12:05 Thirsk - Race: 1
12:20 Stratford - Race: 1
12:40 Thirsk - Race: 2