Jamie Spencer: On an in-form and improving filly I go in with a decent chance
There could be some well-handicapped horses in here, and I hope that I am on one of them. He has been off the track with a setback for a year since finishing last of three at Newmarket last season – though he wasn’t beaten far for me that day – and since then he has come down 2lb in the weights and been gelded. He had earlier beaten a subsequent winner in really good style at Wolverhampton and Michael’s horses are beginning to come good. I think he is on a fair mark but he has been off the track for a while now.
This looks a tight little handicap but I am on a fit, in-form and improving filly so I go in here with a decent chance. I was on her when she won her maiden on the all-weather last season and she progressed well afterwards, winning over course and distance on fast ground, and then reappearing to win well over 1m2f at Brighton earlier this month. Hopefully, the combination of a 5lb rise in the weights and the step back to 1m shouldn’t be an issue, and it is an obvious plus if the ground remains on the quick side. And there are a fair few exposed horses in here, so she has chances.
This is obviously a hugely competitive race and, as ever, luck will play its part here. But my mount beat Banksea in a big field on fast ground over 1m here last season and reappeared after a long spell on the sidelines to win over this trip at Yarmouth recently. He has only gone up 2lb for that win, albeit it was only a neck success, and I think that still makes him a player in what is clearly a better and deeper handicap. I think a strongly-run 7f race will play to his strengths, though he is not an easy ride. I have won on him three times, and never more than by 1/2 length. I think Fastnet Tempest did everything bar win at Newbury last time – he pulled himself up and hung left when looking like winning there, and lost more ground than he went down by – and he could be the horse to beat if he can channel his talent better here.
I have ridden him once before, when we were second at Lingfield in April, and since then he has run a couple of modest races on turf. But at least he has come down to a decent mark – his turf rating is 6lb lower than his all-weather level – and he does have plenty of 5f/6f form on a fast surface in the past. He has an outside shot, and hopefully his draw in 23 of 25 doesn’t compromise his chances.
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