Ed Vaughan’s horse have just run themselves into a bit of form and LAJATICO (best price 4-1), a decent third in a keenly-contested event at Yarmouth last time out, looks set to keep the ball rolling for the Suffolk handler. Although yet to register a win in four starts, each performance has come with a degree of promise and with the form of that latest effort at the seaside venue working out so well (smart speed figure for grade), the son of Equiano rates a solid each-way pick at a track where he’s also gone well in the past.
DUNNSCOTIA (best price 9-2) proved something of a revelation when upped in trip at Kempton last time out and providing he’s in a similar frame of mind before and during the race itself (played up in the prelims and on the way to start), there’s every chance Paul Webber’s charge can go in again. After missing the break at the Sunbury venue, Georgia Cox decided to give her mount plenty of time to ease his way back into the race by playing a waiting game at the back, and when she asked the son of Showcasing to pick up and go about his work in the final three furlongs, the response by the four-year-old was pretty impressive. Mowing down his field within a two-furlong time frame, he won with a bit to spare in the end, and given that his overall time and final three furlong splits were some of the best numbers achieved that evening (35.7 eased), the performance suggests he’s clearly a much better horse than his current rating when focusing his mind on the job at hand.
Whether he can repeat the dose around today’s much sharper track and with only a two-furlong run-in, is open to debate, but providing he isn’t too far back and his pilot gives him plenty of chance of getting up a head of steam, there won’t be too many in this line-up that possess his turn of foot.
Sheila Lavery probably isn’t a trainer too familiar with many UK punters, but having two winners at last year’s Galway Festival proved the Co Meath handler is more than capable of mixing it with the best around and in the shape of MR SCARLET (NAP) (best price 8-1), she looks to have another decent prospect to go to war with this campaign. Sent off a 33-1 poke for his debut at Fairyhouse 10 days ago, clearly big things weren’t expected of the son of Dandy Man on his first outing in public, but in finishing a creditable fourth behind several with previous experience, he ran much better than his market position indicated. Given that he was drawn 15 of 15 and found himself with plenty to do at halfway (dropped in by design), he did remarkably well to get within a length of the main protagonists at the line, and as he showed a nice turn of foot to drag himself into the fringes of action late on, a drop back in trip shouldn’t cause him too many issues.