The semi-final stage of the 3 Steps to Victory is at Sheffield tonight, 500m the distance for those looking to make the 660m final next Tuesday. There is also a supporting 660m competition starting with a pair of interesting heats.
Say His Name Five Times for the Three Steps
Candy Man was the favourite for this competition before it started, and his opening round display suggests that the traders were right on the mark. A very smart performer over this sort of trip, he clocked the fastest time in the heats for Carol Weatherall.
The longer run to the bend tonight is going to be a help to him, and he can see off the second-fastest qualifier, Bombardier, who has been drawn in the same semi-final, due off at 20.46.
Henry’s Charge to Erupt Late On
Very lightly raced for his age, Savana Eruption is trying to make up for lost time for Diane Henry. He found 480m around here in the heats on the short side but caught the eye flying home to grab third.
Four railers and a vacant trap inside him will give him plenty of room to operate on the run to the bend. He is bred to get much further than this but has shown plenty of pace at Towcester and can land the 20.27.
Sammy to Take Advantage of Ace Draw
Another with a super draw on paper is Bandicoot Sammy in the 20.12. He won from this same slot in six last week; with five railers inside him tonight, he should enjoy a clean run round.
The five looks sure to turn straight left to the rails, and with a record of 2/2 at this track, Sammy can take full advantage of the acres of space for Ken Dobson.
Airmount to Spark Back to Form
It’s fair to say that Clever Airmount has not been at her best in recent weeks, including a run over this trip, but she can put that right tonight.
She boasts some very smart form in staying races for Barrie Draper, making the semi-final stage of the Golden Jacket at Crayford in February before thrashing an excellent yardstick in at Nottingham that same month. A repeat of that would see her hard to hold at 19.41.
Naylor to Unleash His Veteran Army
Burkies Army is a veteran these days, a July ‘17 whelp. He has only run in eight stayers races in his life, four of them in the last five and a half weeks, and they have given Stephen Naylor’s old charge a new lease of life.
His most recent win in a solid 39.41 sets a very decent standard for his five rivals tonight to try and surpass. A clean run around the opening turns can see him land the 19.58 and book his place in the final next week.