He’s a horse that I have always felt will improve for running in a competitive race run at a decent gallop, as he is lazy and only beats what is in front of him. Both of the races that he has won this season have been messy, slowly-run, small-field affairs. The Melrose is the biggie for 3yo staying handicappers, so it’s obviously a tough race to win, but I believe he has the potential to be a stakes horse next season as he progresses, so hopefully he should be able to be competitive off a mark of 86. In fact, I will be disappointed if he is not thereabouts.
I am drawn in two and recent history tells you that is not ideal. I often find the horses who try to take advantage of their low draw tend to burn up too much energy too soon in trying to hold a handy position early on. So you have to be aware of that. As for Blakeney Point’s chances, then I think you have to be pretty positive. He was a progressive horse towards the end of last season, and he did really well to finish fifth after a terrible start at Haydock and ran as well as could be expected in a Group 3 at Goodwood last time. I think he deserves his mark, the step up in trip shouldn’t be any problem after his recent runs over 1m4f – he has won three times over 2m, after all – and hopefully the first-time blinkers are the final piece in the jigsaw. He should go well.
I am drawn in two again here, I see. He went up 8lb for a comprehensive win over course and distance – and he also ran an excellent race when second to Defoe here last season – and has struggled a bit in his two starts since, though he didn’t run badly when seventh at Goodwood last time. The problem is that the handicapper has left him on that career-high mark, and that makes it very tough. But he goes well here, and hopefully that will count for a lot.
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