Hamilton Preview: Scottish Strand can strike on handicap debut
Scottish Strand scored in good style last time out and can exploit what looks a lenient opening handicap mark to follow-up in the 1m 1f contest at Hamilton this evening (6.20).
The Jason Tate trained gelding shaped with promise on his racecourse debut last year when eighth of 15 in a madien at Nottingham. Scottish Strand then overcame a 425 day absence to come good at the second time of asking when beating Zora Seas by 1/2 a length in a 1m maiden at Ffos Las earlier in the month.
This three-year-old travelled strongly at the rear for much of that contest before making smooth headway to take up the running inside the last to score with a bit more in hand than this winning margin suggests.
The front pair pulled nine lengths clear of third, and the runner-up went on to score next time up to give the form a solid look.
Scottish Strand has been given an opening mark of 78 on the back of that effort, and that looks more than exploitable given that the son of Selkirk remains totally unexposed and open to bags more improvement now he steps up further in trip.
It’s also interesting that Scottish Strand’s handler has had just two runners at the track in the past 12 months, resulting in a win and a place, and the fact that Fallon is making the long trip north suggests connections means business and a win is expected.
King Of Paradise has a terrific record at the track, and can take advantage of a drop in the weights to further enhance it in the 1m 4f handicap (6.50).
The Eric Alston trained gelding has won four of his nine starts at the venue, and twice made all to score at the track last season.
In the last of those successes, the five-year-old showed a game attitude to beat Discay by a neck off a mark of 72 in a class 4 contest.
King Of Paradise now gets into this lower grade class 5 affair off 7lb lower, and that gives this son of Hurricane Run a huge chance at the weights if fitting cheekpieces for the first time have the desired effect and sparks a return to form.
In the 5f handicap that closes proceedings (7.50), New Lease Of Life can build on a promising run last time out to open his account at the 13th time of asking.
The gelding stayed on well to finish third of 14 to Liliargh at Thirsk 10 days ago, and now gets into this contest off the same mark of 51.
This stiffer track should also suit the Jim Goldie trained five-year-old and, if he can build on his latest effort, the son of Orientor has to go close in what looks a winnable contest.
4.45: Mr Cool Cash
5.50: Rock Band
6.20: Scottish Strand (NAP)
6.50: King Of Paradise (NB)
7.20: Showtime Star
7.50: New Lease Of Life