I haven’t sat on him before but it looks like a good time to be getting on board, as he has run well on all his three Flat starts after being switched from hurdles in December. The form of his Kempton win last time looks okay – in fact, it looks pretty strong, with the third coming out and winning next time – so I think a 4lb rise is fair enough. The step back up to 1m4f won’t be any problem and hopefully he will handle the track on his first start here, and his draw in three looks fine. It’s a very competitive handicap, though, as you would expect for an 85k pot.
He was always well-regarded at two, and the fitting of blinkers, and his physical progress, seem to have been the making of him. He looked to face a straightforward task when winning over course and distance last month, and did it very well, but it may have been even better than it looked at the time with the runner-up coming out and easily winning his novice. He followed up himself at Kempton last time in what was a very strong conditions race, doing exceptionally well in the circumstances. He is a real bull of a horse, getting more robust all the time with a real core strength, and as a result he is difficult to manage. And, in theory, he should have walked home in the final furlong at Kempton after the way that he travelled so freely and keenly and took to me to the front 4f out there. I had little option but to let him go. But he finished his race off so well that I had trouble pulling him up after the line. If he had settled better there, then I think he would have won by 4 or 5 lengths. This is a very strong contest in its own right though – five of his rivals are rated 100+, and Nyaleti has only been touched off in three Group 2s, not to mention Richard’s Superlative Stakes third Great Prospector – but he has a lot to recommend him all the same. Whether or not being drawn 10 of 10 is one of those things, we will see soon enough, I suppose, but hopefully this race will set him up nicely for a shot at the Kentucky Derby. Being honest, I will be disappointed if he doesn’t win, and win well.