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Morley looks magic in Melrose

The progressive Captain Morley looks weighted to take all the beating in the Melrose Handicap at York today (2.40).

The David Simock trained gelding got off the mark when winning a 1m 1f maiden at Wolverhampton back in January, and has shown improved form in three subsequent runs since going handicapping.

The three-year-old went down by just a head on his handicap debut at Chester and then showed a good attitude to beat Old Town by by 3/4 of a length at the same vanue off a mark of 83.

Captain Morley then posted a career-best performance last time out when upped significantly in grade and finishing a cracking third of 18 to Elite Army in the class 2 King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot over 1m 4f off a revised rating of 90.

The son of Hernando was steadied after the start and settled in midfield before staying on strongly inside the last to be beaten four lengths without having the pace to threaten the front duo.

The winner is held in the highest regard and was put up 10lb for that success to a mark of 104 and considered a leading ante post fancy for the St Leger until suffering a set-back, and the runner-up Windshear has gone on to be placed in two Group 3 contests and is now rated 110.

That is very strong form and makes Captain Morely look well-reared in this having been raised just 1lb to a mark of 91.

The step up to today’s 1m 6f also looks sure to suit judged on the way Captain Morley finished off the race at Royal Ascot,and from a good draw in stall six and the services of Jamie Spencer in the saddle, everything looks in place for a big run.

The obvious danger to Captain Morley is the top weight Connecticut who is trained by the in-form Luca Cumani.

The colt has won his last three starts, and looked a pattern performer in the making in the last of those when showing a smart turn of foot to easily beat Xinbama by 2 1/2 lengths over 1m 4f at Newmarket.

Connecticut has been raised a further 10lb for that success, but the son of New Approach is on a serious upward curve and looks the type who could improve even further now stepped up in trip.