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Nottingham Preview: Art Scholar weighted to go well

Art Scholar will relish the testing conditions at Nottingham today and looks decent value to take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the 1m 2f handicap (4.20).

The Mick Appleby trained gelding was a progressive sort in 2012, with his last win coming in the ultra-competitive class 2 November Handicap at Doncaster off a mark of 93.

Art Scholar was put up to 99 for that success, and after a promising first run last season when fourth to Bay Willow at Meydan his form tailed off badly.

The seven-year-old also failed to cut any ice in three starts this term, but then put in a better effort to finish third on soft ground at Ayr.

Although Art Scholar then disaapointed next time up at Newcastle, there was much more to like about his last un at Kempton when fourth to Sole Intent where he weakened late on after making a sweeping mid-race move which took it’s toll.

If Art Scholar can build on that then he has major claims at the weights in this despite having to race from 5lb out of the handicap.

Off a rating of 81, Art Scolar is 12lb lower in the weights than when last successful and another plus is that he is a dual course and distance winner who now gets the services of Oisin Murphy in the saddle for the first time.

Kenny The Captain is another who has been given a big chance by the assessor, and with conditions to suit can go well at a big price in the 5f handicap (4.55).

The Tim Easterby trained gelding has not been at his best in four starts this season, but came good at this time of the year 12 months ago when winning three times in the mud.

Having started this campaign on a mark of 86, Kenny The captain is now running off just 78 and that is 3lb lower than when the son of Captain Rio was last successful.

It gives the three-year-old every chance from a handicapping perspective, and it would be no sruprise to see Kenny The Captain out in a much improved effort now that he has the soft ground that he relishes.

In the closing 5f handicap (5.25), the mud-loving Cardinal is weighted to go well now dropped into class 6 company for the first time in four years.

The nine-year-old is a four time winner on the turf, and three of those wins have come on soft ground.

In the last of those Cadfinal beat Interakt in the class 4 contest at Sandown off a mark of 71, and he is now able to race in this lower grade affair off 7lb lower.

Selections:
1.40: Laurence
2.10: Referendum
2.40: Honey Required
3.10: Banzari
3.45: Flight Officer
4.20: Art Scholar (NAP)
4.55: Kenny The Captain
5.25: Cardinal (NB)