Racing Tip of the Day
Matt Brocklebank provides the Tip of the Day and is backing an improving sprinter to maintain her progress at Pontefract.
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One thing that you seldom hear from trainers of racehorses is that they got it wrong.
As punters and passionate followers of this great game we can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking we have a better idea of a horse’s capabilities, their racing style or even what ground/trip they might prefer, than the people who spend all day, every day assessing their progress.
One horse who had most of us fooled is the three-year-old filly STEPPING OUT, who as a juvenile finished second on her first couple of starts before making all to land a six-furlong Brighton maiden in ready fashion last June – a performance which suggested she’d be even better when stepped up in distance.
She spent the subsequent 11 months on the sidelines but resumed in a decent seven-furlong handicap at Newbury, making the running and looking the likely winner at the one-pole before losing places close home and finishing an ultimately disappointing seventh.
The immediate drop back down in distance at Goodwood last month yielded a pillar-to-post success and it was so refreshing to hear Tom Dascombe’s post-race comment of “I got it wrong”.
I find it hard to completely agree with the trainer, as everything we had seen on a racecourse left the impression Stepping Out could even get a mile, and what Dascombe got very right was wasting no time in dropping his representative back to her optimum trip.
We now all know she’s an out-and-out sprinter and another glance at the closing stages of the Goodwood victory shows she may even have scored a shade cosily.
A revised mark of 86 certainly doesn’t seem excessive for the sister of Duchess Dora as that particular relative achieved a rating of 102 at her peak.
Expecting the same of Stepping Out may be asking for a bit much at this early stage of her career, but she looks a great bet this afternoon against some older rivals in the EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Park Suit Fillies' Handicap.
Ishiamber warrants respect as she bids for a fifth straight success but the latest 5lb hike and a further step up in class could catch her out.
The pick of the opposition could be Lady Horatia, another three-year-old whose placed efforts behind Kickboxer at Leicester and Diamond Lady at Nottingham highlight her current well-being, but she’s 13lb higher than for her handicap debut win and needs to step forward again if she’s to defy the assessor.
There’s no shortage of pace in this race but they will do well to keep tabs on Stepping Out if she breaks evenly from her middle draw, while the heavy showers in West Yorkshire over the past few days should play to the strengths of any progeny of Tagula.
Having saddled three winners in the past 10 days, Dascombe is getting plenty right at the moment, likewise jockey Richard Kingscote who is riding the crest of a wave after a treble at Chester on Saturday.
Stepping Out can keep the ball rolling for the in-form duo.
Talking of in-form trainers, Mark Johnston's string is absolutely flying now and he has three decent chances on the same card, not least Pallister (3.00), whose namesake, former footballer Gary, celebrates his 45th birthday today.
I'm no Middlesbrough or Man United fan, but I might just be praising the doughty efforts of Pallister after the Spindrifter Conditions Stakes this afternoon.