Nottingham Preview: Atreus can rule on handicap debut

Handiap debutantes from the Mick Easterby yard always command the utmost respect, and Atreus is no exception in the 6f contest which kicks-off proceedings on this evening’s card at Nottingham (5.25).

The colt has shown progressive form in just four runs, and has shaped far better than the bare result indicates in the last two of those.

The first came in a valuable seller at York, where after being heavily punted Atreus didn’t getting the clearest of runs before keeping on to finish third of 12 to Sudest.

The runner-up Izzthatright has since gone on to score on handicap debut off 74 before finishing an second off 78, and that looks solid form in the context of this contest.

Aterus then ran well last time out from the worst of the draw at Thirsk when staying a 2 1/4 length third of Mrs Biggs.

The winner had a huge advantage of running on the favoured stands rail, and Atreus did well to be level on the wide outside until being outpaced in the final 100 yards.

It was a run which suggested Atreus would have more to offer when tackling handicaps, and an opening mark of just 64 could be on the lenient side judge on those efforts.

Dungannon came good at this time last year and is weighted to go well in the feature sprint handicap (7.25).

The Andrew Balding trained gelding took time to getting going last season before landing three competitive sprint handicaps in September and October.

In the last of those successes, the seven-year-old beat Hawkeyethenoo in a 19-runner class 2 contest on soft ground at Doncaster off a mark of 94.

He got put up to 99 for that victory, and has subsequently failed to trouble the judge in four starts this year.

However, the handicapper has cut Dungannon some slack and and he now gets into this lower grade class 3 contest off just 1lb higher than when last successful.

That gives Dungannon every chance at the weights, especially with promising apprentice Thomas Brown in the saddle whose is terrific value for his 3lb claim.

The son of Monsieur Bond will also relish underfoot conditions, and in a race which should be run to suit, everything looks in place for a big run.

5.25: Atreus (NAP)
5.55: Enlace
6.25: Kiss From A Rose
6.55: Zipp
7.25: Dungannon (NB)
7.55: Backstage Gossip
8.25: Shades of Silver