3.35 Ayr: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 2f
Sophiesticate was possibly a little bit disappointing seven days ago over course and distance when attempting to step up to 10 furlongs for the first time. Her 5th place finish reads a whole lot better when accounting for the circumstances encountered that day.
She was restrained early on even though it’s quite difficult to make up ground from off the pace at Ayr on fastish ground, certainly how the track is riding more recently.
Yet she made quite eyecatching progress on the inside from three furlongs out, especially when dropping the fastest furlong split of the entire race from two to the final furlong marker. She didn’t get a clear run at a crucial stage, though, had to delay and switch as the race was gone by then.
In my eyes she clearly confirmed the promise shown in her recent Hamilton runs over shorter. The third place finish behind Shaladar last month was particularly noteworthy.
Even though Sophiesticate remains a maiden after eight career runs she gives the impression that she can be better than her current mark of 60. It’s only going to be her second attempt over ten furlongs and on pedigree she looks suited by the trip. I also take confidence from how she saw out some of her races in the past.
She has got a low weight here and I’d be surprised if she doesn’t run well. However, drawn in eight, with other fancied horses likely to get first run, it’s a clear risk that she comes too late with her challenge. I am prepared to give her the opportunity because I hope connections may have learned from last week, I continue to be drawn to her profile and think this is a winnable race.
I am also quite confident that she is well able to reverse form with Belle Of Annandale and Flying Moon if she gets a fair shot at it. And if that’s the case she’s likely the winner of the race.
10pts win – Sophiesticate @ 9.5
3.55 Ffos Las: Classified Stakes, 7.5f
This is such a poor race that I totally could see Mellencamp romp home to victory here…. if he’s in the right frame of mind. He looks a tricky customer but offers much more upside than the rest in this field.
He’s lightly raced and was clearly not a happy horse at Brighton the last month on his seasonal reappearance. Keen and never really travelling, I felt he wasn’t comfortable at the unique track that Brighton surely is. A more conventional, flat, galloping track, like Ffos Las, should see him travel much better.
We saw at Kempton in his final start and handicap debut as a juvenile what he potentially can do. He got behind, trailed the field, but made significant progress late and came home the strongest in third place. The form doesn’t look too shabby, certainly compared to the what the majority of horses can bring to the table here.
Mellencamp is better than a lowly 49 rated horse I am pretty certain. Whether he can bring the talent to the track remains to be seen. This yard isn’t well known for winners, whether he truly stays the trip is a question mark and he can make a mess of the start.
There are risks but there is high reward too. I am certainly hopefully he’s the best horse in the race.
10pts win – Mellencamp @ 12/1