Redcar preview: Libran can zoom to victory in Zetland Gold Cup
The feature race of the day at Redcar is the Zetland Gold Cup (15.55), and the ultra-progressive Libran can defy a rise in the weights to land the hat-trick.
The Alan Swinbank trained gelding showed much improved form when romping to a six length success at Beverley earlier in the month, and followed up in terrific style at York in a competitive 16-runner contest off 6lb higher.
Libran beat Pressure Point by a length in the latter, but was value for much more than the winning margin having shot clear two from home before idling in the closing stages.
It was an effort which suggested the four-year-old needing keeping firmly on side, and the sixth home Seamour has since come out and won a valuable handicap at Haydock to give the form a boost.
Although Libran has been hit with a further 9lb rise in the weights for that success, the son of Lawman is on a serious upward cruve and looks the type who has plenty more to offer.
The Swinbank stable is also in good nick at present having saddled three winners from its last 10 runners, and with Ben Curtis in the saddle Libran looks the one they all have to beat.
Trainer Tim Easterby has his team in tremendous form, and Penny Royale can provide the Yorkshire handler with another success in the 5f handicap (17.05).
The filly got off the mark at Musselburgh earlier in the month when showing plenty of early speed and staying on gamely to beat Atreus by a head.
There was lots to like about the way in which the daughter of Monsieur Bond dug deep, and the front two pulled 4 1/2 lengths clear of the third home to give the form a solid look.
Penny Royale has been raised 6lb for that success, but the win will have done her confidence the world of good and it may not be enough to stop the three-year-old going in again.
In the 1m 6f handicap that closes proceedings (17.35), the consistent Bowdler’s Magic can gain a much deserved success.
The eight-year-old has posted two solid efforts to finish in the frame this season, and although on a long losing run is now running off an 18lb lower mark than when last successful.
That gives the David Thompson trained gelding major claims at the weights, and Bowdler’s Magic now drops back down into class 5 company having run well last time out in a class 4 affair at Newcastle when a staying on fifth having been slowly away and enduring a troubled passage.
14.10: Pippin Street
15.55: Libran (NAP)
16.30: Kayo Koko
17.05: Penny Royale (NB)
17.35: Bowdler’s Magic