This intriguing handicap looks a wide open race to my eyes. The Hangman heads the market and he is a worthy favourite, no doubt. A Grade 1 winner as a juvenile, he had his fair share of problems in recent years, but found back to something close of his best when winning a MR 92 Handicap as top weight over 1.400m last month. The Hangman took advantage of a career lowest mark that day and proved himself to be still in love with the game. This form entitles him to be a big runner today, and the step up to 1.600m shouldn’t be an issue. However a 7lb hike in the mark is something he has to overcome and currently trading a 9/4 chance he isn’t more than only a fair price.
Christmas Handicap winner Fourth Estate will enjoy to be back at his beloved Greyville after two below par efforts at other tracks. Due to the big win in December, he is still on a career highest mark and after 46 career starts it looks unlikely that he can improve any further. Over this CD he rates a fair runner, but others make more appeal.
Candy Moon was fourth in the Christmas Handicap but encountered a troubled run. He stayed on very strongly once in the clear and a 2.5kg swing in the weights with the winner gives him the edge over that particular rival. He found 2.000m a bit too far subsequently, but the drop to a mile at Greyville should certainly suit. Candy Moon is two from three over CD and while he is another one who has to produce a career best, his penultimate effort gives him a strong chance.
Classy Uncle Tommy runs consistently well and lives up to his rating, despite the fact that he has always big weights to shoulder. Up in class today, he has a huge 62kg to overcome and that could simply be too much asked. Royal Zulu Guard and Stolen Destiny are improved sorts lately. They should be competitive but also have to prove that they are up to their new career highest marks. Auction King and King Neptune are not out of this by any means. Though they don’t strike as particularly well handicapped either and more is needed here.
Verdict: If The Hangman can overcome the hike in the mark and continues to find back to his formerly brilliant best, then he has an ideal opportunity to score here over preferred course and distance. It is not a straightforward ask though and I take an chance with gradually improving Candy Moon who loves this track and trip and was a bit unlucky lately. With a clear run he should be a very big runner with conditions in favour.
2.25 Greyville: Kings Cup (Grade 3 Handicap)
Candy Moon @ 5/1 Sportingbet – 5pts win