Epsom and Newbury previews: Escalating can rise to the occasion
David Metcalf | June 30, 2016
Escalating poised to follow-up at Epsom
Escalating scored in terrific style last time out and can make light of a penalty to follow-up in the 6f handicap on this evening’s card at Epsom (19:15).
The gelding has some useful form to his name as a juvenile when trained by Pat Eddery, winning twice to be rated 90 at his peak.
Now in the care of Mick Appleby, the four-year-old has gradually worked his way back to form and got back on the scoresheet in emphatic fashion when winning by 4 1/2 lengths at Nottingham seven days ago.
Escalating showed plenty of pace to track the leaders before taking up the running a furlong from home and quickening clear to score with any amount in hand.
It’s no surprise to see connections turn him out quickly under a 7lb penalty, as the son of Three Valleys is due to race off a 9lb higher mark in future assignments.
This makes Escalating 2lb well-in at the weights, and his current rating of 84 still looks very exploitable judged on his back form.
Melendez handicapped to strike
Trainer Jamie Osborne is enjoying a good season, and Melendez can capitalise on what looks a handy mark to provide him with another winner in the 1m 2f handicap (19:50).
The three-year-old has shown progressive form in five starts, finishing runner-up twice at Southwell before opening his account at that venue with an easy wide margin success in a 1m maiden.
Melendez made all before drawing clear from the furlong marker to beat Deansgate hard-held by five lengths, and the third home William Hunter has won since off a rating of 74.
It makes Melendez look nicely treated off an opening handicap mark of 79, and the manner of the victory suggested there could be plenty more improvement to come.
The step up to in trip should also suit the son of Point Given, and Melendez can make the most of the 13lb he receives from Nigel to land the spoils.
18.10: Duke Of Sonning
18.45: Manolito De Madrid
19.15: Escalating (NAP)
19.50: Melendez (NB)
20.20: First Experience
20.50: Fast Dancer
Spring Fling to cash-in on class drop at Newbury
Spring Fling has shaped as coming to the boil and can take advantage of a drop in class to get back to winning ways in the 6f handicap on this evening’s card at Newbury (20:05).
The Henry Candy trained mare has just one win to her name, and that came in a classified contest at Windsor two years ago.
However, Spring Fling has been relatively lightly-raced since then and run well in some decent contests.
They include a solid 4 3/4 length sixth of 14 to Jack Dexter in a Listed contest at Doncaster last November, and the four-year-old comes into the race having shaped as if ahead of her mark when sixth of 12 to Intense Style in a class 3 contest at Doncaster.
Spring Fling took up the running travelling strongly two from home but then drifted badly left across the track and weakened in the final 100 yards to be beaten 3 3/4 lengths.
The daughter of Assertive gave away far more ground than she was eventually beaten and would arguably have won if she had chartered a straight course, and off an unchanged mark of 83 Spring Fling can make amends now dropped into class 4 company.
Yangtze can sail to success under Moore
Yangtze was a big eye-catcher last time out and can open his account in the 1m 4f handicap now eased in grade (19.30).
The Sir Michael Stoute trained gelding has improved with each run this season, and ran a blinder when fourth of 12 to Dal Harraild in the valuable class 3 Edinburgh Cup at Musselburgh earlier in the month.
After dwelling at the start and losing vital ground, Yangtze made good headway three from home and stayed on well to be nearest at the finish and beaten 3 1/2 lengths.
It was a fine effort given how the race panned out, and the second and third home have both come out and won since.
That gives the form a rock solid look and, off just 1lb higher, Yangtze is going to be very tough to beat in this far weaker lower grade class 4 contest in the hands of Ryan Moore.
18.25: In The Spotlight
19.30: Yangtze (NB)
20.05: Spring Fling (NAP)
20.35: Fort Jefferson
21.10: Critical Speed