Mr Moonshine nicely weighted after last time out good ground flop
The Herefordshire yard of Richard Lee is displaying a fine balance sheet at present, with four winners from just eight runners in the past fortnight and their Simply Wings headed the morning line betting for Haydock’s Class 2 Chase at 4:20.
There is much to like about his chance despite the nine-year-old being 8lbs above his career-high winning mark after a second placed run on his previous outing. Golden Chieftain, third that day, tore up the JLT Speciality Handicap Chase on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival and is now rated 148 over the large obstacles.
Furthermore Simply Wings renews a rewarding partnership with up and coming 5lb claimer Michael Nolan, who boasts the best strike rate amongst the 10 winning-most conditional riders this season.The twosome have two wins and a second from their three races together to date and the rider will be full of confidence after three wins and a second in his last four rides.
Lee’s gelding will have much to fear from the hat-trick seeking Saffran De Cotte, one of three course winners in the field, who is three from five over fences and teams up once again with Jake Greenall under whom he is undefeated.
The Henry Daly inmate’s win over today’s trip came here at Haydock, when he downed Across The Bay – a Grade 2 winner over timber last time – back in 2011. The drop back in trip after his most recent success shouldn’t inconvenience him overly, having won at distances between 2m and 3m during his career, though it remains to be seen effect a further 5lb rise in the weights will have on his chances.
Tumbling the handicap is fellow past Haydock scorer Mr Moonshine, who last tasted victory at this track 11 races ago.His penultimate race was one full of promise when he ran second to Cape Tribulation at Wetherby. His conqueror was ultimately Gold Cup bound and pipped Imperial Commander at Cheltenham next time to frank the form nicely.
Mr Moonshine failed to deliver on his next start at Doncaster, but it just might be the case that the good going on Town Moor that day was that bit too fast for a chaser whose better recent performances have come on heavy ground and dropped 4lbs by the handicapper for that effort he could be dangerous off a mark of 135.