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Thirsk preview: Archilles weighted to open account

Archilles shaped with plenty of promise last time out and looks weighted to take all the beating in the 1m handicap on today’s seven-race card at Thirsk (14.45).

The Jo Hughes-trained gelding has only had four starts, and has shown improved form with each outing.

In the last of those on handicap debut at Windsor, Archilles caught the eye in no uncertain fashion when fourth of 13 to Divine Law off an opening mark of 70.

The three-year-old raced keenly and lost ground when running wide around the bend 7f out before keeping on to be beaten 3 1/4 lengths without being knocked about.

The winner, second and the third home have all come out and won since to give the form a solid look, and that suggests that the handicapper has taken a chance in dropping Archilles to a mark 69.

Judged on that run, the son of Arch is well-treated and, with the prospect of further improvement to come, this looks a nice opportunity for Archilles to open his account.

In the 6f handicap that closes proceedings (17.15), Darrell Rivers is a fascinating contender now eased in grade.

The Giles Bravery-trained filly has only had five starts, and shaped well on the second of those at Chelmsford when fourth of 11 to Wanting.

After blowing the start and being slowly away, the three-year-old showed plenty of pace to recover and take up the running until being headed at the two marker.

Darrell Rivers then rallied inside the final furlong to be beaten 5 1/2 lengths, and the winner has gone on to score since and is now rated 90.

The daughter of Hellvelyn also finished just behind two horses rated 74 and 72 going into the contest, and given how the race panned out that makes her current mark of 60 look exploitable.

Darrell Rivers also shaped much better than the bare result suggests last time out when eighth of 14 to Lolita in a class 5 contest at Lingfield, enduring a nightmare passage throughout and finishing full of running under a kid glove ride.

It was an effort which suggested Darrell Rivers was on a potentially lenient mark, and she is now able to race in this easier class 6 contest off 1lb lower.

Selections:
14.15: Mr Lupton
14.45: Archilles (NAP)
15.15: Kelly’s Finest
15.45: Ifwecan
16.15: Tempting
16.45: Rochambeau
17.15: Darrell Rivers (NB)