A lovely winner thanks to Thrave at Kempton yesterday afternoon. It was his day to shine, finally.
In fairness, despite the rather generous price, I was quietly confident he could go seriously close, if the handbrake is off. 7 furlongs with a solid pace, from a good draw and a career lowest mark – I couldn’t have dreamt of a better opportunity for him, as mentioned beforehand.
It doesn’t always work like that, of course. More often than not you can dream up all you want and you go home empty handed. This is an especially sweet one, though. Having tracked the gelding for the entire season it’s pleasing when it all comes together as you envisioned it in your mind.
Things look a lot brighter now. In fact, much brighter, after I realised my P/L sheet had a filter activated that hid a number of selections from a specific cohort… and with that some winners, too. This was the cherry on the cake today.
3.50 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 5f
My good friend Pockley bids for back-to-back wins here. Of course, I backed him the two times prior to winning at Newcastle last time out. He should run well here again, but has to carry 5lb more, which may be enough to stop him from winning.
The one I seriously fancy in this field only managed to finish in 6th place, beaten more than three lengths, by Pockley, in the same race a fortnight ago. Nonetheless, there is a lot to like about Never Dark, who’s finally back racing around a bend.
He caught the eye at Pontefract and also in his last two All-Weather runs at Newcaste and showed a good level of consistency this year, too. He was never beaten more than 3.5 lengths in his last seven starts since early September, managed speed ratings of 69+ twice and often travelled quite well to suggest he’s a horse that performs in and around his current handicap marks.
Perhaps he was somewhat in the grip of the handicapper, largely down to this consistency. He finally drops below 70 now, a career lowest mark, as the handicapper gives him an opportunity, I believe.
The #5 draw is fine for his style of racing. He shouldn’t be too far off the pace. The bend will help him, if he’s up with the pace, as well.
All in all: trip, track, surface, draw, handicap mark, class, opposition – nothing to worry, but much to like.
10pts win – Never Dark @ 8/1