Third winner for the month last night with Liberty Breeze winning at Catterick in really nice fashion. It couldn’t have been going any better from start to finish. Once she hit the front she put it to bed nicely. Back in green for July, but the month is still fresh.
Mr Marvlos ran a shocker at Kempton after a poor start. My record on the All-Weather over the last twelve months is quite appalling. It’s something I need to be more selective and only back a certain type of horse.
The same goes for class 6 Handicaps. Even though Liberty Breeze was a winner in the lowest grade yesterday, my record is negative over this year and also if looking further back, even if only accounting for turf races. This might be down to the nature of these low-grade races where you never can be sure who’s there to run on merit or who’s on a going day.
I don’t find the same issues even if only one grade higher, in class 5. You would think the difference in class is marginal but it’s not. You regularly see some talented horses run in this lowly grade that can then go on to move up the “food chain”.
6.53 Epsom: Class 5 Handicap, 7f
This is quite a competitive little heat, the favourite Otago certainly a fair one given his course and distance record. Most rivals can’t be discounted, though, hence I feel Otago takes too much space in this market.
The one that interests me most is Hector Loza: for a new yard with a reduced mark, a solid 3lb claimer on board, a good draw to attack the race in his usual front-running style and a track that can favour those with the speed over this trip on fast ground.
There are obvious question marks. His recent performances were poor. A change of scenery needs to sweeten him up. I have also question marks on the fast ground given his best is on the All-Weather and he wore bandages the last time out.
But at the same time Hector Loza is still rather unexposed on turf and has shown in his limited runs on the green grass that he acts on it. His career-best came in a Group 3 on fast ground over 7 furlongs a few years ago.
He stays the trip and ran eight times in his career to topspeeds of 54 plus. The last time matching this when a credible third at Wolverhampton in December when doing way too much in front.
He’s 10lb lower in the ratings today. There are reasons for that but any return to some kind of form, and if he takes well to the fast ground around Epsom, he could be hard to peg back once in front.
10pts win – Hector Loza @ 13.5