Today’s Preview with Rory Delargy – 18th September 2014
A successful day for The Irish Field’s Rory Delargy yesterday with Bondi Beach Boy and Ajig both winning at attractive starting prices of 4/1 & 13/2. Rory is back in action today with five selections, three coming at Ayr and two over at Pontefract. Here’s hoping for a repeat performance!
2.40 Ayr –
A seemingly wide open, low grade handicap sprint in which many of the usual suspects (in both horses and trainers) line up. Linda Perratt has almost a quarter of the field and Jinky makes the most appeal of her four, but the yard has gone rather quiet of late, and it should pay to look elsewhere. Diamond Blue makes a bit of appeal, having only had the one run at Ayr, that being in April this year when finishing second to the comically well-handicapped Dashwood (who won that off 67 and now races off marks in the high 80’s) and has, in general, held her form well this summer. The question is whether the drop back to the 5f is going to suit, and although she will appreciate the faster pace of such events, she does seem to get going a bit late whatever the trip.
Of more interest in these conditions is the unexposed Orient Class, who is having only his fifth start in handicaps,and is the type to find further improvement after a break. He showed little as a juvenile, but showed he could go well fresh when slamming a poor field at Catterick in April. His only poor run came when finding the stiff track at Pontefract too much on his penultimate start, and the relative test of speed here is right up his street, as is a draw next to the stands rail, which should enable him to blaze a trail on his own. There is plenty of speed on the far side of the track, and it’s possible that the race will develop there, but a solo run looks assured, and the 2-month break since his last outing may also prove a blessing.
3.40 Ayr –
Had Eric Alston been in better form then top weight King Of Eden would have been an interesting contender. It’s rare he races in this grade and the last time he did, he got touched off by less than half a length by the well handicapped Amenable, but the yard is seemingly in dreadful nick and like a few of his stablemates, he will only be of interest when that corner is turned (now a non-runner). Circuitous handicaps himself each year in readiness for this fixture (still holds an entry in the Gold Cup on Saturday) and finds himself back on the same mark as when taking the Bronze Cup last season; that was over 6f and on softer ground, but he’s a C&D winner in the past, and can’t be taken lightly. Keith Dalgleish’s runner needs a second look, but there’s been steady improvement all summer from Old Man Clegg, resulting in victory at Newcastle last time, where he handled the quicker ground well, and having gone up a very fair looking 4lb for that victory (still 5 lb below his previous winning mark), he’s taken to continue his winning ways here.
4.10 Ayr –
Her overall record since joining David O’Meara has been patchy to say the least, but Patrona Ciana got back on track in similar conditions at Redcar last time with cheekpieces fitted, and if a visor draws a little more out of her, then she’s more than capable of cashing in on a falling mark in the second division of this 7f handicap. Her sole win since arriving here from France came over C&D in the spring, and her formcard looks better when runs on easy going/all-weather are taken out, giving figures of 108174274. She didn’t find much off the bridle on her penultimate start, and is clearly one to have some reservations about, but is hard to ignore under ideal conditions here.
3.00 Pontefract –
Edwin Tuer’s old boy Fazza won a division of this race last year and recent efforts suggest that off just 1lb higher this time around he could win it again. His record at Pontefract reads 931135 and that recent fifth was a most unlucky effort, being denied a run at a crucial time when coming with his effort. He again stayed on late in the contest at Ripon on his latest start and if avoiding traffic problems looks decent e/w value against likely favourite Potent Embrace, from Mark Johnston’s stable. He fell in by a head at the weekend over a quarter of a mile further at Chester, so with totally different conditions here, and under a 6lb penalty, has questions to answer on a few fronts.
5.30 Pontefract –
At the risk of smashing our heads against a brick wall, The Strig could easily be given another chance after two eye-catching efforts at Carlisle and Bath. On both occasions he’s travelled well into the race (traded much shorter than Betfair SP on both occasions) but probably challenged on the wrong part of the track. At Carlisle, his amateur rider stuck to the dead-ground rail on the far side, rather than coming up the middle and similarly at Bath, where Anna Hesketh found herself cut adrift from the rest of the field on the far rail, whereas the main body of the field came up the middle of the track. In the hope those efforts aren’t a false dawn, he is given an e/w chance in a field that, top weight Peace Accord aside, isn’t in much form. Peace Accord really ought to bring up the 4-timer unless he finds a busy period catching up with him, but his presence in the race gives it a decent enough each-way shape, and with ten declared, we shouldn’t be stymied by non-runners. The Strig will have to race from 6lb out of the handicap but that’s less of a worry here as he was more than capable of bigger marks when he won both his starts in September last year. He’s clearly not one for maximum stakes, but Stan James’ 22/1 beckons enticingly.
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