Catterick Preview: Rusty Rocket ready for take-off
Rusty Rocket will relish the soft ground at Catterick and looks weighted to take all the beating in the 5f handicap on this evening’s six-race card (20.30).
The Paul Green-trained six-year-old is a dual winner at the track, and was last successful when landing a 5f class 4 contest in the mud at Nottingham back in November 2013 off a mark of 83.
Rusty Rocket went on to post a couple of solid efforts last year, including when runner-up to the useful Aetna in a class 3 contest at Newcastle off 85, and is now able to race off just 75.
That is 8lb lower than when last successful and gives the son of Majestic Missile major claims at the weights.
Rusty Rocket also now drops down into class 5 company for the first time in over three years, and will appreciate the return to the turf following two pipe-openers on the Tapeta surface at Wolverhampton.
Those spins should have put Rusty Rocket spot on for this assignment, and with Joe Fanning in the saddle it looks a glorious opportunity for him to get back on the winning trail.
Trainer Brian Ellison had his team in good nick, and El Massivo can take advantage of a career-low mark to provide him with another success in the 2m handicap (20.00).
The gelding scored twice on the all-weather surface when trained by William Jarvis, with the last of those successes coming at Wolverhampton off a rating of 65.
El Massivo is now able to race off 7lb lower (58) having started life off in handicaps of 71.
It make the five-year-old looked too well-treated to ignore in this line-up, and El Massivo come into the contest on the back of three solid runs to make the frame over hurdles.
If the son of Authorized can translate the improved form shown over jumps back to the level, then he could potentially make a mockery of his current handicap mark.
Another plus is that Ellison has a 25 per cent strike rate with his runners at the track in the past 12 months, and with Paul Pickard in the saddle everything points to a big run.
18.00: Bond Bombshell
18.30: War Poet
19.00: Our Time Will Come
19.30: True Pleasure
20.00: El Massivo (NB)
20.30: Rusty Rocket (NAP)