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Nottingham preview: Desert ready to lay down the Law

Desert Law has been in fine form of late and looks a worthy favourite to land the 5f conditions’ contest on this evening’s card at Nottingham (19.15).

The Paul Midgley trained gelding drew a blank last year but took advantage of a huge drop in the weights to get back to winning ways in the valuable “Dash” at Epsom three starts back.

Desert Law raced in touch out wide from the worst of the draw in stall one, before making headway to from home to take up the running at the furlong marker and beat stable companion Monsieur Joe by a length.

It was a cracking effort, and the runner-up has since gone on to land a Listed contest at Tipperary to give the form a solid look.

Desert Law went on to finish a fine third of 21 in a hot handicap at the Curragh, and backed that up with another solid effort when a close up third of 18 to the progressive Double Up at Ascot when last seen in action.

Those runs represent strong form in the context of this contest, and off a rating of 100 Desert Law is officially the best in the race and has 2lb and upwards in hand on his rivals.

In the 1m 2f apprentice handicap that opens proceedings (17.15), Kantara Castle can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the spoils.

The gelding won a couple of claimers last year when trained by Richard Hannon, and the last of those came off an official rating of 72.

Kentara Castle went on to finish a decent third in a handicap at Doncaster off 69 after joining trainer John Mackie, and also ran well to finish third at Lingfield back in May off 58.

The four-year-old is now able to race in this off a career-low of 55, and comes into the contest on the back of an eye-catching run at Redcar when fifth of 10 to Bahamian Desert.

After racing towards the rear, Kantara Castle lost ground and momentum when clipping heels with a rival and stumbling badly three furlongs from home.

The son of Baltic King did well to stay on his feet before making good late headway to be nearest at the finish and beaten three lengths.

In the circumstances it was a fine effort, and if building on it Kantara Castle looks on a very handy mark.

Selections:
17.15: Kantara Castle (NB)
17.45: War Queen
18.15: Imperious One
18.45: Always Resolute
19.15: Desert Law (NAP)
19.45: Sleepy Blue Ocean
20.15: Vodka Time