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Windsor preview: There’s no escaping the chances of Alcatraz

Alcatraz opened his account in good style last time out, and looks weighted to take all the beating in the 1m handicap on this evening’s card at Windsor (19.35).

The gelding had some very strong form when trained in Ireland, including when finishing runner-up to subsequent Investec Derby third Giovanni Canaletto in a 16-runner maiden at Leopardstown.

Alcatraz also ran very well on his final start for trainer Johnny Levins when staying on strongly after a slow start to finish a length fourth of 12 to Stormfly in a competitive handicap at the Curragh off a mark of 80.

The winner is a useful filly who has won since and been placed in Group 3 company to achieve a rating of 105, and the third home Corbata has also come out an won since and is now rated 93.

That is very strong form in the context of this contest, and makes Alcatraz look potentially thrown-in at the weights off 83 given that he finished just a neck behind Corbata.

The three-year-old has since joined trainer George Baker, and comfortably landed a 1m maiden at Chepstow by 2 1/4 lengths on his first start for the Newmarket handler.

That win will have done Alcatraz’s confidence the world of good, and with further improvement on the cards this looks a golden opportunity for the son of Camacho to go in again.

In the 1m 3f contest that closes proceedings (21.10), Al is a fascinating contender now stepped up in trip on his handicap debut.

The Luca Cumani trained colt has shaped with plenty of promise in three runs in maidens, most notably when fourth to subsequent Investec Derby winner Golden Horn in a warm 1m contest at Nottingham.

Although beaten 10 3/4 lengths, Al kept on nicely under tender handling and finished a length in front of Master Of Speed who has won since and is now rated 82.

That suggests that Al’s an opening handicap mark of just 67 is very much on the lenient side, especially as the son of Halling is bred to come into his own over middle distances.

Another plus is that Cumani has a tremendous strike rate of just over 38 per cent with his runners at the venue in the past 12 months, and Al also has the services of promising apprentice Kevin Stott who is terrific value for his 3lb claim.

Selections:
18.30: Flying Empress
19.05: Stars And Stripes
19.35: Alcatraz (NAP)
20.05: Acolyte
20.40: Dutch S
21.10: Al (NB)