Nottingham Preview: Black Granite has rock solid claims
Black Granite is on a serious upward curve and can overcome a further rise in the weights to land the hat-trick in the 1m 1f nursery at Nottingham today (4.25).
The Jeremy Noseda trained gelding has shown marked improvement since going handicapping, landing a 7f contest at Salisbury off an opening mark of 67 before following up off 7lb higher in a competitive class 2 contest over a mile at Newmarket.
Black Granite was particularly impressive in the latter, travelling strongly on the heels of the leaders before taking up the running three from home and forging clear to score by 2 3/4 lengths.
It was a performance which suggested the son of Dark Angel was progressing at a rate of knots and had even more to offer.
Although the handicapper has reacted by hitting Black Granite with a further 9lb rise in the weights, that may not be enough to stop him going in again now dropped down to class 3 company in a race which has a far weaker look to it than the Newmarket contest.
Artful Prince shaped as if coming back to form last time out and looks weighted to take the beating in the 1m handicap (4.55).
The James Given trained gelding was in rude health in the second half of 2013 when winning five times.
The last of those success coming on good-to-soft ground at Newcastle where Artful Prince stayed on well to beat Dark Ruler by 1/2 a length off a mark of 71.
The four-year-old now gets into this off just 1lb higher following an excellent fourth to Donny Rover in a class 3 contest at this venue seven days ago.
Artful Prince led that day until being headed inside the last and losing two places close home to be beaten 1 2/4 lengths, and it later transpired that he had lost a shoe.
It was a cracking effort, and the drop down into class 5 company gives Artful Prince a great chance of scoring an overdue success.
In the closing 1m 2f handicap (6.00), Prophesy can take advantage of a career-low mark to score an overdue success.
The gelding hasn’t won since scoring on soft ground at Carlisle in August 2012 off a mark of 79, but is now running off just 64.
That is massive 15lb lower than when last successful and gives Prophesy outstanding claims from a handicapping perspective.
2.50: Polar Vortex
4.25: Black Granite (NAP)
4.55: Artful Prince (NB)
5.25: Golden Spear