Back Uncle Dermot before ground firms up

Uncle Dermot has a fighting chance at Brighton when he competes in the Harringtons Lettings '“ Official Grandstand Sponsor Handicap.

Trainer Brendan Powell is keen to cash in with Uncle Dermot. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Trainer Brendan Powell is keen to cash in with the eight-year-old old before the ground gets too quick for him, so now is not the time to jump ship. And, although he is hardly a handicap good thing, there is probably enough beneath the bonnet to deliver off a mark of 73, just 3lb higher than when he won so well at Leicester last October. The gelded son of Arakan is race fit, too, and will surely feel the benefit of freshening-up experiences at Redcar and at Windsor a week ago. His most recent outing indicated he was coming to hand nicely as he finished a staying-on fourth behind Double Czech in a fair eight-and-a-half-furlong handicap.

Winner of this race two years ago, it is also interesting to see Richard Kingscote, who did the steering that day, back at the helm.

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Victory for Sheila’s Lad could be a formality in the Veolia – Official Recycling Partner Maiden Stakes. The gelded young son of Lilbourne Lad has the key form from those horses that have already raced after finishing a very encouraging third in bottomless ground at Leicester. Clearly
not short of pace and proven when there is cut in the ground, he should readily get the job done – unless one of the newcomers is above average.

A first-time visor might do for Gulland Rock in the Brighton&Hove Buses – Official Transport Partner Handicap. The five-year-old was a shade unfortunate at Wolverhampton last month when he was fleetingly cut short of room. He still finished third, though, and only went down to Misu Pete by a quarter of a length. Gulland Rock had previously run honourably on the all-weather scene and is no slouch on the turf, having won at Catterick in April 2014 off a 5lb higher mark.

Anthony Carson’s representative is not an especially straightforward fellow, however, so the hope is that the visor will do enough to eke out that bit more improvement.

Dark Illustrator looks picture perfect in the ARC Long Service Awards Handicap at Wolverhampton. The three-year-old filly is still a maiden after six tries but has improved since turning to handicaps and could be a little better than a mark of 53 might suggest.

Reyno is the pick in the Sika Roofing Rapid Challenge 
Novices’ Handicap Chase at Kempton, Generous Pet can make it a four-timer in the ROA/Racing Post Owners Jackpot Handicap Hurdle at Sedgefield, with Towering far from out of the equation in the Michael Lumsden Memorial Handicap Hurdle at Ludlow.