Mr Poy is strongly-fancied by shrewd trainer Hughie Morrison to recoup recent losses in a five-runner Median Auction Stakes over the ‘good to soft’ Brighton mile this afternoon; most intriguingly weight will be firmly at issue, especially on a different surface!
On the BHA weight-for-age scale Mr Poy, a four-year-old Sepoy gelding, will carry ten stone, 15lbs more than obvious danger, Godolphin-owned three-year-old filly Lunba; the latter is also advantaged by a 3lbs apprentice allowance of outstanding Newmarket-based Marco Ghiani, whose valuable services are indentured to Marco Botti.
Weight has a tremendous effect, especially on a demanding surface; I’m not one to be negative but this represents a conundrum even though it’s a match to all intents and purposes which will be all about value and, of course, selecting the winner.
From experience it pays to side with ‘aged’ runners because weight is extremely subjective and indeed fallacious; I’ve always been loathe to compare a ‘built-up’ time-handicap mark and the more powerful Mr Poy fits snugly into my modus operandi which puts emphasis on experience.
Whereas thrice-raced Lubna lacks has yet to be tested and may well have a problem with the distance Mr Poy has raced seven times and consecutively posted similar TH marks in handicaps on ‘standard to slow’ Kempton polytrack, which should equate to conditions today.
Morrison will be aware of all the forementioned prognostication and the likelihood is he’ll instruct champion apprentice Devid Egan to make the running and sort out the wheat from the chaff; that would be my play, front-runners take some pegging back, especially on easy underfoot conditions.
‘Good’ ground is forecast for Beverley where twice-raced Tommaso is clear ‘best-in’ for a 3-y-o Median Auction Maiden Stakes over an extended mile of the stiff Humberside venue; we’ll surely get decent odds about Stef Keniry’s charge with ‘form’ runners from William Haggas and Mark Johnston in the line-up. They need to improve considerably.
‘Soft’ Newbury is a turn-off and there’s nowt at Ayr worth backing which means my final selection will be Barrowmount tonight in a nine-runner Novice Stakes over two and three-quarter miles of genuinely ‘good’ ground.
Barrowmount scored over a similar distance on hurdles debut at Stratford last month when posting a half-decent mark and so don’t oppose without good reason.
Summer-jumping is worth monitoring closely but I’ve already had my fill on the flat of desperate ‘watered’ turf surfaces following a dismal weekend which made me wonder if I’m losing the plot. Must not lose confidence after a wonderful spell!
Selections, Brighton, 1.35 Mr Poy; Beverley, 4.40 Tommaso; Newton Abbot, 6.45 Barrowmount.
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019