Ascot preview: Northgate looks a likely Lad

Northgate Lad has a progressive profile and can defy a rise in the weights to land the 6f handicap on a cracking seven-race card at Ascot today (16.35).

The Brian Ellison trained gelding has won two of his six starts and also posted two cracking efforts to be placed in decent contests.

They include a fourth of 16 to Twilight Son in a valuable class 2 contest at York two starts back when beaten just three lengths.

The winner is a very exciting prospect, and the third home Magical Memory has gone on to slice up in a competitive contest at Newmarket.

Northgate Lad has since lanced a gamble at Newcastle in style, only having to be driven out to beat Lexi’s Hero by a length off a mark of 90.

The pair pulled 3 1/2 lengths clear of the third to give the form a solid look, and a further 6lb rise in the weights is unlikely to be enough to stop upwardly mobile Northgate Lad going in again.

In the other 5f handicap on the card (17.05), Burning Thread can take advantage of a drop in the weights to score an overdue success.

The gelding won six-times when trained by Tim Etherington, with the last of those successes coming in a class 3 handicap at Ayr 13 months ago off a mark of 90.

Burning Thread went on to finish a two length third to Kingstgate Native in a conditions’ contest at Beverley off a rating of 88, and is now able to race in this off just 82.

That is 8lb lower than when last successful and gives the eight-year-old outstanding claims from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form.

Burning Thread, who is now in the care of David Elsworth, also comes into the race having hinted that he was coming to the boil three starts back when a highly creditable 4 1/4 length 8th of 20 to Desert Law in the class 2 Epsom “Dash”.

The son of Captain Rio has since run better than his form figures suggests at Newmarket and Windsor, and taking into account apprentice jockey Tim Clark’s 3lb claim looks weighted to run a huge race.

13.50: Dawn Of Hope
14.20: Fawaareq
14.55: Hassle
15.30: Yasmeen
16.05: Great Park
16.35: Northgate Lad (NAP)
17.05: Burning Thread (NB)