Thursday Selections: 22nd December 2022

I am prepared to give Havana Goldrush another chance, despite a major disappointment only a couple of days at Kempton.

It was an odd race on Monday. Certainly the winner was too well handicapped as the handbrake came off. But that had nothing to do with the poor showing of Havana Goldrush, who finished a long way beaten, in no relation to his excellent recent performances.

One of the possible reasons was the way the race developed from his wider than ideal draw in the early stages of the race. The gelding raced ide, not finding cover, and using valuable energy. He tends to be a tricky sort, so no surprise to see that it was game over before the race even really began. In any case, the performance was too bad to be true.

Hence I remain interested in Havana Goldrush once again. He was a massive eyecatcher on his penultimate run – he confirmed his excellent form, as I felt the two preceding runs deserved to be upgraded for various reasons, as well.

In the October race at Kempton, then over 7 furlongs, he had to overcome the widest draw, was bumped by a rival as the gates opened, was pushed to the outside as a consequence, and had to regain momentum. He found his stride swiftly, and then travelled strongly in the middle of the field.

Seemingly going best in the home straight, when looming large 2 furlongs from home, he failed to put the race to bed, apparently hanging in the closing stages and possibly paying for the trouble at the beginning of the race.

As touched on, his two runs prior were noteworthy as well: a strong 3rd place in September at Chelmsford over a mile, when he attempted to make all, and possibly was doing too much too soon. A few weeks earlier he finished third over the same CD, when badly hampered at crucial times of the race.

Those performances indicated Havana Goldrush is seemingly holding his form quite well, and is ready to strike, when he gets a clear run…. with the caveat that Mondays run puts a big question mark behind it all.

He’ll have assistance of a solid 5lb claiming apprentice once again. Draw and pace chart look favourable, in a sense he shouldn’t need to waste loads of energy to slot in a couple of lengths behind the leader.

10pts win – Havana Goldrush @ 9.5/1

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