Bashiba is shortlisted for the Steve & Liam Neal’s Super Sprint Handicap at Haydock.
Nigel Tinkler’s speed merchant has been a good horse for connections over the years and came very close to winning for the first time this season at Redcar late last month.
The gelded son of Iffraaj finished third behind Fredericka in a tight, five-furlong handicap but a bit of context is probably required.
Bashiba firstly missed the break, so did quite well to stay in the hunt, while his path was blocked at an important stage of the game.
Once the gaps did appear, though, Tinkler’s inmate charged gamely towards the line and was beaten just a quarter of a length.
Perhaps a little surprisingly, Bashiba has actually been relieved of weight ahead of his visit to Merseyside and he now just 1lb higher than when he struck at Doncaster last autumn.
With the fast ground at Haydock perfect, expect not to see Graham Gibbons’ companion until the last moments as he is a horse who is always at his best with plenty of cover.
Bunbury is well worth monitoring on his handicap debut at Newbury.
The four-year-old gelding has made stealthy progress in three maidens and looked particularly useful at Windsor last month.
Richard Hughes’ representative finished fifth, having encountered plenty of traffic problems in a race that has not worked out too badly at all.
The Comax Handicap is not an epic encounter for the prize-money on offer and Hughes will be most disappointed if Bunbury did not end up a good deal better than a mark of 74 might suggest.
Frosty The Snowman should be up to the job in the Free Month Trial Of Racing UK Handicap at Nottingham.
Haydock: 6.45 Qibtee, 7.15 Raven Banner, 7.45 Arc Royal, 8.15 Heisman, 8.45 BASHIBA (NAP), 9.15 Lord Franklin.
Newbury: 2.00 Bacchus, 2.30 Dame Judi, 3.05 Abingdon, 3.40 Bunbury, 4.10 Lucky Louie, 4.45 Muaither, 5.15 City Ground.
Nottingham: 1.50 Fastar, 2.20 Jimenez, 2.50 Frosty The Snowman, 3.25 Growl, 4.00 Rococoa, 4.30 Minty Jones, 5.05 Arcamist, 5.35 The Dukkerer.
Uttoxeter: 6.05 Magna Cartor, 6.35 Casino Markets, 7.05 Stepover, 7.35 Gold Ingot, 8.05 Alderley Heights, 8.35 Martin Chuzzlewit, 9.05 Three Blondes.
Yarmouth: 2.10 Sandwood Bay, 2.40 Dubara, 3.15 Sixties Habana, 3.50 Wavelet, 4.20 Sbraase, 4.55 Johnny B Goode, 5.25 Ultimate Star, 6.00 Capital Gearing.
Double: Bashiba and Bunbury.