4.10 Brighton: Class 6 Handicap, 7f
There is no doubt that King Of War looks potentially well in under a penalty given top apprentice Benoit De La Sayette takes five pounds off. He may well be hard to beat. On the other the overall record of the horse doesn’t give total trust in him backing this latest performance up at a short price.
In any case one who I feel can be perhaps even better handicapped is Ideal Guest. Still a maiden after ten starts and only one place to show. Yet I couldn’t have envisaged a better scenario for this lad. How can that be?
In my mind this son of Shalaa hasn’t been helping himself very much, often pulling incredibly hard and throwing races away as a result. However, his form this season is quite competitive. He ran fine races at Windsor in April, and Yarmouth the last two times – both strong forms.
Last time out over a mile he didn’t stay the trip in softish conditions after fighting for his head for the first half of the race. If I look back to his penultimate run at the same venue over 7 furlongs, though, that specific piece of form is quite strong and he only went down late as the field entered the final furlong.
The handicapper gives Ideal Guest a tremendous chance now. Having dropped him to 56, a whopping 7lb lower than at Yarmouth in May. He also drops down to 7 furlongs again, which can only help. Fast ground should suit.
The key question is always: can he settle? I reckon if he can hen can he is potentially 10lb better than this current mark. The way the pace looks in this race will do him a huge favour. Nearly everyone likes to get on with things.
I don’t think he has to lead. He often lead because he pulled his way to the front. With plenty of other runners keen to move forward, he might find a good pace to chase this time, and that in turn can help him settle. If it does he wins this.
Obviously the recent yard and jockey form are rather poor. But over the last twelve months Margarson/Queally had an 18% strike rate and with tough Royal Ascot this month impacting their form I am not overly concerned.
10pts win – Ideal Guest @ 7/1