Sylvester Kirk’s patience with Free For All can be rewarded at Haydock.
Kirk has had to bide his time with this talented four-year-old since a solid third at Epsom in July.
But his trainer now feels it appropriate for a return in the Betfred Eventura Handicap, which looks an eminently winnable contest.
The Jeff Smith-owned gelding has only been sighted on a racecourse six times, and has clearly had his issues in the past.
Indeed, he was only seen once last year – when mightily impressive at Folkestone – before returning at Lingfield in May.
It was a similar scenario in Surrey as Free For All cocked a serious snoop towards the handicapper by scoring with seemingly stones in hand – which also showed he is a serious animal when kept fresh.
Kirk was right to give him a go in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, but, even though he ran satisfactorily, the soft ground was not to his liking.
Next up was a tough handicap at Epsom in which he did well enough in third, but was clearly hamstrung by the drop to six furlongs and the sharp undulations on the Downs.
This return to a galloping surface and seven furlongs therefore looks ideal, while a mark of 89 is unlikely to prove too much of a hindrance.
Confidence in Free For All should also be galvanised by the prospect of drying ground.
Foxy Music should also be followed at a working-man’s price in division one of the Betfred Sharples Group Handicap.
Eric Alston’s sprinter has hardly ripped up many trees this term, but a close analysis of his form is still required.
The seven-year-old has been handed some daunting tasks since winning at Chester last September, but he should be a force back at this lower grade.
Olney Lass can be considered a worthy ally in the Donatello Ristorante Supports The Martlets Hospice Apprentice Handicap at Brighton.
While no superstar, Lydia Pearce’s filly won a shade cosily on her only start at this track, and was certainly not out with the washing at Folkestone last time.
She should appreciate this slightly longer trip, and still has quite a few miles left on the clock for a four-year-old at this grade.
Adelina Patti has also recently impressed at Brighton, but this time gets the chance to flaunt her wares at Chepstow.
Although still a maiden after seven tries, Walter Swinburn will have been greatly encouraged by consecutive second-placed efforts in August.
The substance of that form is admittedly far from watertight, but she has done more than enough to warrant respect here off a mark of 62.
After all, the Spiffing Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Handicap is hardly the stuff of legend.
Nor, too, is the Artimesia Handicap, in which Ellies Image must surely go close.
A fine winner at Doncaster on August 13, Brian Baugh’s four-year-old filly again shaped with great purpose at Carlisle last week, when she was only worried out of it by the decent-looking Istiqdaam.
Ellies Image is now 12lb higher than when successful on Town Moor, but last season’s Catterick victory off a mark of 60 suggests that might not be the end of the world.
Haylaman is the choice in the Bunge Handicap at Kempton.
A winner at Newmarket last time, he has shown he can handle the all weather in the past, already being a winner at Wolverhampton last year.
Brighton: 2.20 Ishikawa, 2.50 Empress Charlotte, 3.20 Olney Lass, 3.50 Storming Bernard, 4.20 Highland Harvest, 4.50 Slatey Hen, 5.20 Interakt
Chepstow: 2.30 Beau Duke, 3.00 Adelina Patti, 3.30 Ellies Image, 4.00 Barista, 4.30 Swift Breeze, 5.00 Full Shilling, 5.30 Griffin Point
Haydock: 1.40 Foxy Music, 2.10 Restless Bay, 2.40 Radio Gaga, 3.10 Invincible Force, 3.40 Hotham, 4.10 FREE FOR ALL (NAP), 4.40 Wild Desert, 5.10 On Her Way
Kempton: 6.20 Silenceofthewind, 6.50 Pulverize, 7.20 Al Mahmeyah, 7.50 Miserere Mei, 8.20 Island Paradise, 8.50 Where’s Susie, 9.20 Haylaman
Kilbeggan: 4.35 Tirmoyle, 5.05 Spring Hawk, 5.35 Wins Now, 6.05 Dalkeith, 6.35 Granaruid, 7.05 Hot Friend, 7.35 Call’em Home
Daily Double: Free For All and Ellies Image