Leicester and Newton Abbot previews: Pastoral ready to take Star role
David Metcalf | June 21, 2016
Pastoral Star to shine at Leicester
Pastoral Star has proven form in testing conditions and looks decent value to open her account in the 1m handicap on this evening’s card at Leicester (19.40).
The Hughie Morrison trained filly had four starts in maidens last season, and showed improved form in the last of those when a not knocked about fourth on soft ground at Goodwood over 7f.
It was an effort which suggested the daughter of Pastoral Pursuits would have more to offer when going down the handicap route as a three-year-old, and that view was confirmed when she finished third to Medburn Dream on seasonal reappearance at Windsor on heavy going.
Pastoral Star held every chance two from home before weakening deep inside the last to be beaten four lengths, and the form of the race has a strong look to it.
The winner, to whom she was conceding 3lb, has won twice since to be rated 82 and the runner-up and fourth home have both gone on to run solid races to make the frame.
It makes Pastoral look well-treated off a lowly mark of just 62, and although well-beaten last time out at Lingfield that run came on the all-weather surface and the return to the turf is likely to see her in a much better light.
Mud loving Medburn makes plenty of appeal
Medburn Cutler is at his best when the mud is flying and he can take advantage of a drop in class to get back to winning ways in the 1m 4f handicap (20.45).
The Paul Henderson trained gelding won twice in class 6 company at Chepstow early last summer, with the last of those successes coming off a mark of 65.
Medburn Cutler went on to run some solid races to make the frame, including when third in a class 4 affair off 70, and now drops back down into class 6 company having shaped well in a brace of decent handicaps at Goodwood this season.
The six-year-old is also now able to race off the same mark as when last victorious, and that gives him major claims from a handicapping perspective.
Two of Medburn Cutler’s three career successes have also come in testing ground, so underfoot conditions will hold no fears and everything looks to be in his favour.
18.40: Bronze Beau
19.10: Good Time Ahead
19.40: Pastoral Star (NAP)
20.10: Sakhalin Star
20.45: Medurn Cutler (NB)
21.15: The Knave
Frozen Over fancied to skate in at Newton Abbot
Frozen Over has returned to form in his last two starts and looks weighted to get back to winning ways in the 2m handicap hurdle on this evening’s card at Newton Abbot (20.35).
The Chris Down trained gelding was in fine form in the early part of last spring when landing a hat-trick, with the last of those successes coming at Ludlow off a mark of 106.
Frozen over went on to finish a solid third off a rating of 113, and is now able to race off 103.
That is 3lb lower than when last victorious, and the eight-year-old hinted that his time was near when finishing second of 11 to Bulletproof at Kempton last month.
Frozen Over led at the last and stuck to the task well once headed to be beaten five lengths on his third start back after a 160 day break, and should now be spot on to do himself justice.
Mount has fine Prospex of opening account
Mount Prospex shaped well when runner-up last time out and can go one better to land the 3m 1f handicap chase (19.30).
The Tim Dennis trained gelding is yet to get his head in front in nine starts under rules, but has posted improved efforts in his last two outings.
After finishing an eye-catching staying on fourth of 13 at Exeter, Mount Prospex found only Dusk Till Dawn 2 3/4 lengths too good in an 11-runner affair over course and distance last month.
The seven-year-old again stayed on strongly from off the pace, and the front two pulled 13 lengths clear of the field to give the form a solid look.
Although up 4lb for that effort, Mount Prospex is clearly going the right way and a mark of 94 should not be beyond the son of Golan if taking another step forward.
Newton Abbot selections
19.30: Mount Prospex (NB)
20.00: Earls Fort
20.35: Frozen Over (NAP)