Space Kid should put some distance between himself and his rivals in the Download The At The Races App Handicap at Southwell on Sunday.
Adrian Keatley’s representative faces only a select field of fellow three-year-olds, and appears to have plenty in his favour.
Busy and consistent in the first half of the winter, he returned from a seven-week break with another encouraging performance when third off his current rating over this trip at Lingfield.
Space Kid proved back in late December, on his only previous trip to this course, that he is more than capable of adapting to the Fibresand.
A close second on that occasion, just cut down late on by four-time winner Swinton Noon, he can be expected to run up to his form after also demonstrating last time at Lingfield that this 2400m trip is fine for him as well.
Earlier on the card, Jeans Maite returns to a familiar hunting ground as she bids for her second course success in the opening Follow At The Races On Twitter Handicap.
Roy Bowring’s mare is on a hat-trick after a very comfortable win at the course two starts ago, and then a quick but narrow follow-up at Wolverhampton.
There were signs at Dunstall Park, running for the second time in four days, that she could perhaps do with a break as she scrambled home after appearing well in control 200m out.
She is up 3.5kg, but seems sure to benefit from her month off and is a proven performer over this course and distance.
Bowring could be in business again just over an hour later when Dylan’s Lad runs in the Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com Handicap.
The four-year-old was a course winner over 200m shorter than this 1400m last time, when he was prominent throughout but stayed on well to win decisively.
He too is up in the ratings, of course, by 2.5kg in his case. But he appeals as one who could well sustain improvement – especially at this track.
Russian Rumour returns from a five-month winter break in the Watch Free Race Replays On attheraces.com Handicap – and has run of late as if this extra stamina test, stepped up to an extended 3200m for the first time, will suit her well.
Jonathan Portman’s filly was last seen striding on well at the finish when winning over 400m shorter in early November.
That form has yet to work out especially well. But Russian Rumour was consistent previously too, and clearly improved for the switch to this surface in the autumn.
Over jumps, Plumpton stages the mylittletip.co.uk Sussex Champion Hurdle – in which Gary Moore may well have found a good opportunity for his useful novice Natural History.
The six-year-old, highly-rated on the Flat when Group-placed for Andrew Balding last year, was the subject of a plunge into favourite for last month’s Imperial Cup.
That did not work out, with Sandown’s soft ground possibly against him as he faded out of contention up the hill.
Natural History had previously shown himself adept over this course and distance when a wide-margin winner on handicap debut, and this return to a sounder surface could well see a resurgence off his potentially favourable rating.
Fairyhouse’s Easter Festival moves on to day two of three.
Andy Dufresne has been targeted at the Grade 1 Underwriting Exchange Gold Cup Novice Chase – and in the absence of Energumene, he may have his day at the top level. – www.sportlinglife.com