Andy Holding has a strong fancy in Saturday's Spring Cup at Newury, live on Channel 4.
Spring Cup - Saturday - Newbury, 3.50 CH4
Showing some useful form in his native France and arriving on these shores with a rating of 95, it seemed a formality that the son of Sinndar would pick up a maiden before going on to much better things, but that failed to materialise as the four-year-old struggled to live up to expectations.
As a result of those slightly below-par efforts, he found himself on a reasonable mark to start this campaign and he quickly capitalised on that leniency by making a total mockery of his new rating of 76, winning a Nottingham handicap by six lengths with any amount in hand. Although the conditions that day may have slightly accentuated the visual impression he created, the time figure he produced, however, suggested otherwise. Not only was his overall speed figure by miles the best on the seven-race card, his closing sectionals compared favourably with the two five-furlong sprint races run earlier in the afternoon and it’s those findings which make him such an interesting proposition going forward.
Clearly, Saturday’s race is going to be a totally different ball-game from bullying weaker opposition at Nottingham on a wet and dreary midweek card to the test he faces ahead, but the manner of his performance and the numbers suggest he may have what it takes to cope with the rise in grade and offset his new 13lb higher mark.
With fitness on his side and the ability to cope with testing conditions proven (forecast suggests the ground is likely to remain heavy), let’s hope he gets a decent draw in the ballot as everything else points towards him running a huge race at the weekend.