Misplaced Fortune proved exactly how good she can be with the visor back on board but sadly for us, it's just another second place to add to an ever-growing list. She travelled smoothly just behind the pace, then quickened well to take up the running with the guts of a furlong to run but seemed to idle as the going got tough and the excellent Jamie Spencer was on hand to take advantage with a strong-finishing performer, one who was unexposed and clearly improving. This was a truly cracking effort from Nigel Tinkler's mare, possibly a career-best and she's an excellent animal when the turbo (visor!) is added to her engine. I can have absolutely no complaints, she was just unlucky to find one too good and it's just a pity that we've had to sit through another second who could well have won. She's one to keep onside for Ayr, like many mind.
There was absolutely no money for Space Station today and although it's possible that he's gone at the game, and that I was wrong about that, I don't believe it to be the case. He showed enough to suggest that he's going to be taking advantage of his rating before long, given that this modest contest was not run to suit those who like to come from off the pace and he really needs a decent gallop to chase after. It will be interesting to see if Seb Sanders hops off next time and whether Hayley gets the ride, as her record for Dow this year suggests that she's the one to do the business for the yard. I could be hilariously wrong in my judgement of this horse and maybe he is regressive, but I think that we should persist with him, when he's value, and hope that he comes good before the end of the year. I suspect that he will in October here.
-2.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 8-8-7-6-2-6-3-0-2-8 (0 winners & 3 places).
Two selections for today, both of whom are very capable on their day and hopefully are "on it", so to speak. The first in particular is one that I expect to see winning before the flat season is out and he's a real sharp track performer, thus making him of interest from a good draw at Chester. His recent form is nothing to go and shout home about but he has bounced back from similarly poor performances in the past and I would not let that worry you too much. The problem is his connections, but if he's trying he'll run really well IMO.
Best of luck today folks and here's hoping that one of them could oblige. No more seconds would be nice.
Tim Easterby is having a horrible time of it so far this month, with just one winner from 57 runners but he may have a horse to change his fortunes in the shape of Clockmaker. This 6-year-old gelding is a real in-and-out performer and hasn't shown us overly much in his last four outings, but the handicapper is now helping him somewhat by dropping him to a mark of 83 and it's only a few months ago since he placed over half-a-furlong further at this track when rated 90. That came on the back of a half-length third of 12 at Catterick the time before, off 88, and was preceded by a trio of terrible efforts, so at least we know that he can bounce back to form at any time. He done exactly that when gaining his first turf success in October of last year, off today's mark when dropped to C4 company on soft ground at Catterick. This is somewhat tougher, but it's the sharp tracks that bring out the best in him and he's beautifully berthed in stall 3 to get a favourable racing position and that's vital to his chances. The ground should be fine, though he would prefer some rain as a softer surface suits best. Paul Mulrennan is booked for the first time and he rides the track excellently (11-48; 23% strike-rate). He's an excellent "stopping" jockey at the same time and the booking could be taken as a negative too, but hopefully that's not the case. A 5lb apprentice who's 0-16 for Easterby is replaced and that's a certain plus, as he needs intelligent handling at the best of times. The race should be run to suit him and barring any disasters, he should be having a chance. It's all a case of whether he's wound up to give his best but he's back on a sharp, turning track with suitable ground for the first time since those close-up thirds in June (off 5 & 7lbs higher) and as an animal who needs plenty his way, you readily excuse his lack of recent form. Again, the risk lies in whether he's trying but this is within range if he is on song and the price makes the risk worthwhile. He'll either run a cracker or finish out the back. Hopefully it's the former. Baby Strange would have been of interest but for his price shortening too much and one of our previous selections, Chris Wall's Citrus Star, would be too if the ground was faster.
For a horse of his ability, Mac's Power hasn't won as many races on turf as he should have done but this doesn't look like an impossible assignment by any stretch of the imagination and he should be capable of running well at the very least. James Fanshawe's 6-year-old hasn't hit the heights of his last season, in which he ran cracking races in some top handicap company but he has posted plenty of solid efforts and isn't far off running to his best. Today, he will have to overcome an unexposed colt in Duke Of Firenze, but he's more than capable of doing so in my opinion and Sir Michael Stoute's three-year-old is very short in the market, despite the bare form of his last time out run looking quite exceptional now. Fanshawe could have brought his runner to Ayr again to contest the Gold Cup but that's gone off the agenda for one reason or another and he's tackling this much easier assignment instead, which looks a wise move. The gelding seems to love it at Doncaster, with form reading 2-1-7-1-4-5 at the track and has plenty of ready excuses for the defeats, though is so often a hostage to fortune. Jamie Spencer is on board and that's a positive, as he excels on this type of horse and has been riding great during the first couple of days of the meeting. Spencer got up for the first time last time out, when they tackled a 7f conditions' race against some useful opposition and the pair looked sure to play a hand in proceedings when seen travelling sweetly for much of the home straight. However, the horse proved one-paced under pressure and quite simply doesn't stay strongly enough to be a 7f performer, nor does he look as good when racing around a bend. Returning to a straight track will help and this unique 6.5f trip could be something like his optimum based on many of his performances of last year. The Fanshawe yard are in cracking form as well, have an excellent course record and have a runner who is surely capable of running past his mark of 97 when at his best. At odds of 7/1, he is worthy of the usual support and with a bit of luck in-running, should push the favourite close.
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