He has plenty of miles on the clock, as you’d expect from a 9yo, but this will be the first time I have ridden him. And it could well be a good time, too, as he got back to winning ways with a convincing win at Doncaster at the weekend and that could have given him a bit of confidence. He carries a 6lb penalty for that win but that effectively only makes him racing off a mark of 93 here, and he went up to 94 after winning impressively at Musselburgh earlier in the season. He has run some good races here, finishing fourth in this contest in 2015, and he has each-way chances in what is obviously a very competitive handicap.
He has gone off the boil a bit after securing his hat-trick at Chelmsford in May – that was my fourth win on the horse – and we have given him a break since his modest effort in a first-time visor at Royal Ascot, where he was too keen for his own good when attempting 2m4f for the first time. He came back a bit flat from there. The handicapper has eased him 2lb in his absence, which helps, as will the step back down to 2m, but he clearly needs to show more than he has done recently. Our horses are in decent nick, though, and he has been working well again, and we try him without any headgear here.
Gift In Time
He comes here on the back of a good third to Red Roman at Goodwood, and he is 5lb better off with the winner for just under a 2 length beating. He ran well for me there, and the handicapper has left him on the same mark, so hopefully he should be thereabouts if he runs his race. I think this flat track will suit him better, and it looks like being good, fast ground, which will also be more in his favour than it was at Goodwood. It is a deeper race today but I think he has each-way chances.
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