Thursday 20 September 2018
S T Andrew Plant Hire Handicap (Div 1)
Class 5 | 1m | Soft (Heavy in places) | 12 Runners | Turf
Off time: 14:33 | Winning time: 1m 46.17s
Emphatically back to winning ways on heavy ground at Carlisle (1m) last week, for which he incurs a 6lb penalty; not beaten far (third) after a tardy start on his last visit to Ayr (C&D) in July; obvious contender.
Hasn't seen too much racing in 2018, returning from an 11-month absence with a couple of moderate efforts at Thirsk (7f-1m); dropped a further 3lb as a result.
Has appeared to be in the grip of the handicapper for much of 2018, but tentative showed signs of a revival at Redcar (1m2f, good) when beaten less than 2L by Bollin Joan (third); drop in trip worth a go.
Has a moderate strike-rate on turf (1-31), but that success came over C&D in July 2017 (good to soft), and from a 9lb higher mark; well suited to his local track, but is difficult to predict and performing fairly moderately lately.
Took his chance on the Roodeye at Chester on Saturday (1m2f+), but didn't quite get home after racing prominently; better suited to this track (five-time winner here on a variety of racing surfaces); chance over 1m if adopting similar tactics.
Veteran; absolutely no issues with track/trip or ground, but you just wonder whether or not his best days are behind him; handicapper certainly giving him every chance (dropped 12lb since early August).
Enigmatic character who needs the cards to drop his way (best delivered as late as possible); fully effective on Tapeta at Newcastle, but remains a 25-race turf maiden; not the obvious (or likely) solution.
Hasn't won for an age (May 2015), and looks to have gone fractionally off the boil more latterly after some mildly encouraging runs late summer, including when beaten 2L by Island Song at Carlisle (1m1f, good to firm).
Odds and ends of placed form (6f-1m3f), but it hasn't been anywhere near enough to break the duck so far (seven-race maiden); handicap mark falling, but far from clear as to exactly what constitutes his ideal trip, so readily opposed.
Better known as an AW horse, but just the type to appreciate some cut underfoot on turf (7f heavy ground winner at Carlisle in September 2017); respectable third to Araqeel at Newcastle (7f) latest, so merits close inspection.
Knocking at the door of late, but unable to force it open, no major threat to Viscount Loftus (beaten since) and Jacob Black at Musselburgh just under a fortnight ago, despite getting the better of the remainder (third); no turf win since May 2015.
Stablemate of Forever A Lady; 2lb higher than when staying on powerfully to score by a neck over 7f here (good to firm) on his penultimate start; equivalent effort at Newcastle since and likely to be suited by further; ground prowess an unknown.
Mustaqbal (11/4), Silvery Moon (3/1), It's Never Enough (8/1), Visitant (10/1), Forever A Lady (10/1), Strong Steps (11/1), Zoravan (12/1), Cadeau Magnifique (12/1), Newmarket Warrior (16/1), Gworn (16/1), Tagur (25/1), Dark Crystal (25/1), Torrid (28/1), Newstead Abbey (28/1)