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Wednesday 21st August

Wed 21 August 2019


Good afternoon from Newmarket. After an agonising near miss at Kempton yesterday, today we head to Carlisle in our quest for winners.

We have to wait until the final race at 5.55 for a bit of action, when Grandscape will take his chance in the  11-furlong 0-65 handicap for novice amateur riders. Our jockey Sophie Smith only just creeps into this race, as she has now had five winners, but at the cut-off point according to the terms of the race, the 1st of April this year, she had only had three.

Just as the jockey only sneaks in under today’s race conditions, it is a similar story for our horse! Grandscape was rated as high as 72 earlier in the season, but a string of unplaced efforts have brought him back down to 64 and allow him back into 0-65 company. Now this is of interest not only due to the drop in grade it represents, but also because the last time he raced from this perch he ran out an impressive six-length winner of a Redcar handicap last October.

So we are now down to a more manageable mark, and this trip, track and the prevailing conditions should be ideal. So what of the opposition? Well, the market leader Lucky Icon was a very impressive winner of a valuable handicap hurdle at Galway last time out, and looks a very difficult opponent now switched to the Phil Kirby yard. However, take that horse out of the equation and this looks a wide open affair, and a back to form Grandscape would hopefully be very competitive.

A lot has to be taken on trust with a horse that has been badly out of form, and a wide draw complicates matters. However, this is probably Grandscape’s first realistic chance to be in the thick of things since Doncaster at the very start of the turf season. He seems in good form at home, so let’s hope that he can stage a bit of a revival and outrun his likely big odds.

All the best,

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