Last weekend proved to be a fruitless one, with the only selection Palace Moon running a quiet race to finish not too far behind the leaders in fifth, running on well without being asked too much. He looks one to keep onside and could be ready to strike soon, but his strike rate doesn’t inspire the utmost of confidence.
There’s some competitive looking racing tomorrow across the pond as well as a card at Fairyhouse. A tricky looking day, though a chance is taken on:
Summery Justice 2.45 Newcastle 20/1
A typical renewal of a good handicap, the Elder is one of the most testing handicaps run all year, an extended four miles, though rather unusually this year the ground isn’t particularly testing. Summery Justice is as slow as they come but is a dour stayer and there’ll be no question marks about him seeing out the trip. Quite lightly raced for an 11 year old, he was restricted to just four hurdle starts, winning one, but he has proven himself to be a smart chaser, winning on his chasing debut at Kempton in 2010, rallying well over 2 ½ miles. He landed his first win in a handicap later that year off a mark of 126 over an extended 3 miles at Bangor in good fashion. Injury restricted him to just three starts in the next two years, but he took full advantage of the handicapper’s assistance when landing a touch at Perth in April 2010 off a mark of 127.
He looked in the grip of the handicapper in his next couple of starts, but showed a return to form when a close up third back at Bangor in December 2013, and followed that up with a good run at Kempton before getting his head in front once again next time out in a really gruelling Newbury3 ½ miles handicap, winning going away from the ill-fated Burton Port. He was merely going through the motions next few starts, keeping on for a distant 5th in the Scottish National, but he ran a fine race on his seasonal reappearance at Lingfield when runner up off a mark of 133, before pulling up at Chepstow (never went a yard), but he ran promisingly last time at Kelso, faring better than the bare result when 3rd behind Lie Forrit and Harry the Viking, form that looks extremely strong given that pair occupied the first two positions home in last week’s Grand National Trial. He’s not a strong traveller and expect him to be one of the first to be pushed along, but he is a dour stayer and will be keeping on when others are downing tools. Any rain would be a plus,20/1 looks a few points too big for an each way bet.
Stake: 2 points each way
by David Taheny