Perth Festival Day 1 preview: Present Flight ready for take-off
David Metcalf | April 19, 2016
Present Flight can collect for local trainer Russell
Present Flight ran a blinder when runner-up last time out and can go one better to land the 3m handicap chase on the opening day of the Perth Festival (17.00).
The Lucinda Russell trained gelding was a dual winner earlier in the season on good ground, and looked better than ever on his second run back from a break when beaten just 3/4 of a length by Oscar O’scar at Kelso last month.
Present Flight rallied strongly on the run-in to make the winner pull out all the stops, and the pair pulled 25 lengths clear of the field.
It was a performance which suggested there may be better to come, and a revised mark of 120 should not be beyond Present Flight given his progressive profile.
The drying ground is also a big plus, and Present Flight goes extremely well for jockey Derek Fox who is once again in the saddle.
Russell is also a local trainer who loves nothing more than to have a winner at this meeting, and this is sure to have been Present Flight’s target for some time.
Fagan fits the bill
Fagan has some top class form to his name and can make the most of the weight he receives from his rivals to get back on the winning trail in the 3m novices’ hurdle (15.15).
The gelding was a triple point winner and landed two bumpers in the autumn, one at this venue, after joining leading Irish trainer Gordon Elliott.
Fagan went on to register a facile seven length success on hurdling debut at Musselburgh, before putting in a cracking effort at the same venue when beaten just 3/4 by the highly-regarded O O Seven.
The six-year-old then posted a career-best effort when last seen in action at the Cheltenham Festival and finishing second of 19 to Unowhatimeanharry in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
After being held-up at the rear, Fagan made stealthy headway between the final two flights before keeping on well to be beaten just 1 1/4 lengths.
The form of that race reads extremely well in the contest of this lower grade class 2 affair, and a repeat effort is going to make Fagan very hard to beat.
14.40: Song Saa
15.15: Fagan (NB)
15.50: Jennys Surprise
16.25: More Madness
17.00: Present Flight (NAP)
17.30: King Muro