High standing can go distance for moore
Just seven horses line out for the Listed sprint at Salisbury tomorrow, with Border Patrol the top-rated in the field off a mark of 112.
With the weights framed as they are, Roger Charlton's five-year-old has a chance of getting his season off to a winning start. The worry, though, is that Border Patrol failed to shine in his only two outings last term, so he is passed over this time.
Elnawin brings winning form to the table, having just got up in a conditions race at Ascot in May. The Richard Hannon-trained gelding is certainly going the right way, but he may still have a bit to do to catch an on-song High Standing.
That one reverts to six furlongs here under Ryan Moore for a first time since he finished second to Regal Parade in a Group Three at Newbury last August.
In the interim, he has struggled to make an impact over seven furlongs, and the drop in trip may be key to his chance.
Indeed, on his first run of 2010, William Haggas' gelding won at Haydock over five, before failing to get competitive behind Starspangledbanner in a Group One at Ascot.
High Standing then returned to close to his best at Newbury, so it is surprising that connections have taken this long to bring him back to a trip he has won over six times.
Further north at Doncaster, Muqtarrib gets the nod to land what is a poor enough 12-furlong maiden.
High Jinx is one that may yet turn out to be useful, having kept on well when third in a decent contest at Haydock last month.
Nonetheless, Muqtarrib is fancied to have a touch more class.
Fourth to Carlton House on his second start as a two-year-old, Brian Meehan's Medicean colt confirmed the promise of that piece of form by finishing third on his reappearance.
At Newmarket that day, he was just three-quarters of a length behind Wild Coco, which went on to oblige by no less than eight lengths next time.
Having drawn seven lengths clear of the remainder, Muqtarrib is no slouch either.