Carlisle preview: Soul Brother ready to hit the high notes
Soul Brother has been knocking on the door of late, and can take advantage of a drop in class to gain a deserved success in the 5f handicap on this evening’s card at Carlisle (19.10).
The Tim Easterby trained gelding ran a stormer on his second start last season when beaten 1/2 a length by subsequent Group 1 winner G Force, who is now rated 118, and went on to open his account two runs later when running out a facile nine length winner of a 5f maiden at Newcastle off an official rating of 84.
This four-year-old was allotted an opening handicap mark of 86 on the back of that success, but disappointed when sent off a well-backed 3/1 second-favourite for a class 2 contest at Newmarket and finishing last.
Soul Brother also failed to shine in two subsequent starts, and was well beaten on his seasonal reappearance.
However, the son of Captain Rio showed the benefit of that run when bouncing right back to his best to finish third at Musselburgh on his penultimate outing and backed that up with an unlucky in-running 1 1/4 lengths into third behind Invincible Ridge in a class 3 contest at Redcar two weeks ago.
Soul Brother is now able to race in this lower grade class 4 affair of an unchanged mark of 80, and that gives him a huge chance of landing the spoils for a yard in fine form.
Easterby also has leading claims of capturing two other prizes on the card with Upward Trend and Chivers.
The former runs off a career-low mark in the 7f handicap (20.10) and is a fascinating contender now dropped back in trip and fitted with the blinkers for the first time.
Upward Trend is yet to get his head in front in seven starts, but has shaped with promise on several occasions and posted a solid effort on his final start last season when getting collared close home and beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Dark Wave over 1m at Redcar.
The gelding also caught the eye last time out when sixth of 12 to Secret Lightning over 1m at Thirsk on soft ground, showing plenty of pace to chase the leaders before gradually weakening out of contention two from home.
It was an effort which suggested the drop back to 7f would suit, and Upward Trend has since been dropped a further 2lb by the handicapper and looks well weighted on the pick of his form if the fitting of the headgear for the first time has the desired effect.
Chivers runs in the 1m 6f handicap that closes proceedings (20.40) and with underfoot conditions to suit is going to be tough to beat now dropped in class.
The four-year-old loves to get his toe in, and has shaped really well in two runs this season in class 4 contests.
This son of Duke Of Marmalade will appreciate the drop down into class 5 company, and this looks a glorious opportunity for Chivers to get back into the winners’ enclosure.
18.10: Uncle Brit
19.10: Soul Brother (NAP)
19.40: Get Knotted
20.10: Upward Trend
20.40: Chivers (NB)