3.40 Newbury: Class 2 Handicap, 7 furlongs
This looks quite a volatile race judged by the intense market moves. No surprise, though – early season, three-year-olds returning to the track after a winter break, soft ground and a 7 furlong trip. Sounds a bit like the makeup for a good lottery game.
Two individuals appear to be severely overpriced, in my book, however. That is firstly the David Evans trained Lihou from the bottom of the weights. One who started his career early as a juvenile in March last year, he showed some fine form early in the season, but kept following on with other strong runs in autumn as well.
He ran to a TS rating of 81 when runner-up at Chester in a Conditions Stakes over the minimum trip, but seemed to have no issue with staying 7f when runner-up here at Newbury in September at his first and only try very a trip that far – he did so off 4lb higher than today.
Second time over this trip, of a seemingly fair mark, Lihou could well be able to outrun his price tag.
Same can be said for front-running Sparklealot. A progressive sort last year, he won three times, including over 7f on soft ground when last seen.
A 7lb hike in the mark will mean he’ll need to find a bit more improvement, but given this colt ran to a TS rating of 83 that day, there may well be more to come.
5pts win – Sparklealot @ 25/1 MB
5pts win – Lihou @ 25/1 MB