Sheffield is our port of call tonight for the opening round of the Category 1 Three Steps to Victory. A unique competition sees the opening round over 480m, the semi-final stage over 500m next week and the final in a fortnight is over the testing 660m trip.
The Candy Man can
The ante-post favourite for the competition is Candy Man who heads to the traps at 19:41 for Carol Weatherall. He made the final of the Laurels over 480m at Perry Barr in April, seen just once since when winning a Derby Trial stake.
He has already shown what class he possesses over this sort of trip and with the potential to do better when tried over further as the competition progresses, he can lay down a marker for overall glory tonight.
Weatherall can power to a double
Fight The Power can provide Weatherall with a quickfire double in the 19:58. An adaptable type, he already has open race wins to his credit at five different tracks in 2021 and can make it six tonight.
His main danger sits to his immediate left so the run to the bend will be crucial. The selection has the more natural trapping ability of the pair so can gain that all important lead early on.
Razor to cut his rivals down to size
Appearances have been limited from Ballydoyle Razor so far this year. He won the Puppy Trophy for Phil Barlow at Nottingham last autumn on Derby night before making the final of the Puppy Derby at Towcester.
He looked one of the top young prospects for 2021 but has managed just four races so far. Early pace is his weapon of choice, looking like leading these a merry dance from the second the traps fly open at 20:46.
Thumbs up for Caesar
The betting suggested it was a surprise that Lemming Caesar won last time out for Michael O’Donnell. Things certainly fell right for him, taking an early lead that saw him miss the first bend trouble.
Highly tried earlier in the year at Monmore, he ran subsequent Category 1 winner and Derby semi-finalist Cold As Ice to three-quarters of a length over 480m in February. He has taken well to this track and can prove last time to be no fluke at 20:27.
Bombardier to take flight
Bombardier has only got the red jacket once so far in his career, producing a flying 28:31 from this slot at Limerick in April. That was in the Kirby Memorial, one of Ireland’s premier competitions for youngsters.
He made the semis there, missing out on a place in the final by half a length. A recent trial around Sheffield was a solid first look and he should be able to build on that for Mark Wallis in the 18:51.