He has won over course and distance, finished fourth in this race three years ago, and comes here on a falling mark. So if he can bounce back to form – and I know that applies to a lot of these in-and-out sprinters – then he is certainly weighted to go close. One run aside, he hasn’t been running that badly at all this season and the handicapper dropped him 2lb for his Ascot run last time and he is now back to the mark that he won off here in October.
Everyone knows he can be a tricky character, slowly away and often first to come off the bridle, and he hasn’t won since taking the 2014 Chester Cup. But he races off his lowest mark since then and if he can put it all together – as he nearly did off a 3lb higher mark than this at Haydock in May – then he will hopefully be in there in with a chance. He also finished third in an Ebor here two years ago, but you know what you are getting if you back him. I will be wearing my kid gloves, though, if that helps….
I don’t have any first-hand experience of him but he was a cheaply-bought 2yo who has done brilliantly, completing his hat-trick at Yarmouth recently. A mark of 84 looks okay on the balance of those three successes, and Kevin obviously thinks the first-time cheekpieces will help him, too. I teamed up with Kevin to win this nursery in 2010, so let’s hope we can repeat the feat, though maybe 6f here could be sharp enough for him. He is also related to some good horses, notably Benbaun, and I think he is quite decent himself.
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