6.10 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 7f
I loved the return off 139 days from Saisons D’Or at Newcastle two weeks ago. He travelled well for a long time and seemed the one going best with less than 1.5 furlongs to go, ready to win the race. He fell away in the final furlong, though.
He ran to a good 59 speed rating, not too far off his current handicap mark. There is every reason to believe he can improve for the run. His spring form is usually really strong, he tends to run really well in the first two-three runs after a winter break.
Now an eight-year-old he isn’t getting any younger, but he’s fallen to a really good mark as he also has dropped into class 6.
This doesn’t look a strong race, hence I think the #7 draw may not be too much an issue to overcome. The yard tends to avoid this track with fancied runners at all, though. That’s a concern.
10pts win – Saisons D’Or @ 11.5/1
8.00 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap, 1m
Plenty of unknowns here but one wo is most likely to improve significantly from his three starts as a juvenile is Get Stuck In.
He caught my eye in his final two runs last year; at Kempton and then Newmarket, he ran with tons of credit in pretty hot contests. What I loved most was the attitude he showed on those occasions.
Not only did he look straightforward enough, but also went forward, and tried really hard when challenged heavily in the closing stages.
Going up in trip to a mile can only be a positive, given his pedigree. He’s been gelded, which in itself may bring out additional improvement.
What gives me plenty of hope that this lad is ready to roll is the fact Mark/Charlie Johnston’s 4-year-olds have an excellent record on their reappearance off a break on the All-Weather.
Further to this, the pace in this race could be a muddy. But he likes to go forward, most likely, and could enjoy an uncontested lead. He may be hard to peg back.
10pts win – Get Stuck In @ 7/2
8.20 Dundalk: 47-70 Handicap, 1m
Leabaland must be one of the unluckiest horses on Dundalk circuit given this winter. He’s often ran a lot better than bare form would read; one who definitely seems to find the trouble more often than not, has also been unfortunate with wide draws.
Each of his last five runs since he entered my radar in mid-October produced their own drama, and it wasn’t different when last seen in February over this course and distance as he just couldn’t get that the clear run, from entering the home straight until it was game over.
He looks clearly capable of his slightly revised mark of 60. Especially this time he enjoys a low draw, which will be a huge advantage. He’s a solid starter, and can just move forward, see how things fall, but in any case should be in a position to get a clear run this time.
There shouldn’t be any excuses this time. If he’s good enough this time is the day…. I think he’s good enough; added bonus having Seamie Heffernan in the saddle, who rode Leabaland to his last victory, ten month ago.
Hence I think these current prices are total bonkers. Of course, if things look too good to be true, often they aren’t true. We’ll find out tomorrow night.
10pts win – Leabaland @ 17/2