First winner of the week with Lincoln Park (11/2) yesterday. It was a peach of a ride by Silvestre De Sousa, utilizing the good draw in the best possible way; Lincolm Park lead pretty much start to finish, even though he was hard pressed for a while. It looked like some of his rivals were travelling stronger turning for home, but the 3-year-old kept finding.
The listed Dee Stakes were an intriguing contest. The favourite Circus Maximus won it as he was entitled to do. He had the run of the race, in truth. Moving forward I’m much more keen on stable mate Mohawk, the runner-up. I was looking forward to his return this year, and was pleased with this performance.
Wherever he goes next, granted he gets decent ground, he could be value and underestimated I feel, given his profile and achievements to date aren’t quite as sexy as some of his stablemates.
6.50 Nottingham: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 2f
You need to have ultimate confidence in favourite Group Stage at short odds to find a hell of improvement on handicap debut now as a 3yo. Not impossible, but hard to say 3/1 is a good price.
The one I’m interested on is Michael Stoute’s handicap debutatn El Picador. He’s got a phenomenal record in these type of situations and we know his horses usually improve with time.
El Picador is clearly down the packing order in the yard, although an opening handicap mark of 72 could underestimate him quite a fair bit. He didn’t show a lot in three starts as a juvenile in the second half last year. And his seasonal debut at Wolverhampton last month was also rather poor.
However, he was an 18/1 shot that day, and travelled like an inexperienced horse, who was found out for speed in the home straight, while also looking a bit awkward as his rivals quickened away.
First time blinkered today is interesting, to keep El Picador possibly focused on the job. Stepping up in trip that will suit well on pedigree should also help to see him in much better light today.
That in combination offers enough potential to see this well bred son of Dansili improve enough to overcome a 72 handicap mark, I believe.
10pts win – El Picador @ 8/1 PP