1pt each-way The Grand Visir @7/1, 14:25 Newbury, Saturday

The heavy downpours overnight have made the ground unseasonably soft at Newbury. Old favourite Withhold runs in the 2m Marsh Cup, and on his day he would certainly smash this field. The 2017 Cesarewitch winner can go well fresh, but having burst a blood vessel prior to competing in the Melbourne Cup a few years’ ago, he has struggled to stay fit and he might be best watched after another long absence.

Several of these contested the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle a few weeks back where Who Dares Wins came out on top. He needs to defy a 3lb rise and career-high flat mark to snare this, although is expected to run well again. Proschema was fast finishing in-behind, passing beaten horses, and it’s no surprise that he has been heavily supported this morning with soft ground form in the book.

I’ve been very impressed by the progress of Carnwennan who looks to still be on a workable mark of 94, and if the ground had been on the quick side, he would have most likely been the bet to complete a four-timer.

However, I really like the profile of the Ian Williams trained THE GRAND VISIR who put in a career-best performance last time out to claim the Ascot Stakes at The Royal Meeting over 2m 4f. The Grand Visir finished miles clear of the rest with the Willie Mullins trained Buildmeupbuttercup and he had to carry the hefty burden of top-weight over 2m 4f on a stiff track with the ground on the soft side.

The Grand Visir showed plenty of guts and determination and is unbeaten when the going is on the easy-side. This represents just his third flat start for his new yard and despite being a five-year-old The Grand Visir remains lightly-raced and has an enviable strike rate of 5/11 over turf.

The drop back to 2m and a half furlong will not inconvenience him one bit having won over 1m 6f, when in the hands of William Haggas a few years’ ago, and he was partnered by James Doyle to victory on that occassion. Doyle returns to the saddle today and he will be looking to steer this son of Frankel home in what looks a competitive staying renewal.

1pt each-way The Grand Visir @7/1, 14:25 Newbury, Saturday (four places, 1/4 odds with several bookmakers)

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