Redcar preview: Soul Brother ready to call the tune
Trainer Tim Easterby has his team in terrific shape, and Soul Brother can provide him with another success in the 5f feature handicap (15.50) on today’s eight-race card at Redcar.
This gelding ran a stormer on his second start last season when beaten 1/2 a length by subsequent Group 1 winner G Force, who is now rated 118, and went on to open his account two runs later when running out a facile nine length winner of a 5f maiden at Newcastle off an official rating of 84.
The four-year-old was allotted an opening handicap mark of 86 on the back of that success, but disappointed when sent off a well-backed 3/1 second-favourite for a class 2 contest at Newmarket and finishing last.
Soul Brother also failed to shine in two subsequent starts, and was well beaten on his seasonal reappearance.
However, the son of Captain Rio showed the benefit of that run when bouncing right back to his best to finish third at Musselburgh last time out.
After being held-up off the pace, Soul Brother was poorly positioned when the leaders kicked for home but finished with a real rattle inside the final furlong to be beaten just a head.
It was an effort suggested Soul Brother’s time was near, and with cheekpieces now fitted for the first time he looks weighted to take all the beating off a mark of 80 if building on it.
In the 1m 2f handicap (17.20), Heading Home is a fascinating contender now stepped up markedly in trip.
The John Quinn trained three-year-old was an expensive purchase, but failed to trouble the judge in four runs last season over 6f and 7f.
However, the son of Dutch Art showed that he was not devoid of ability on the second of those over 6f at Thirsk when slowly away before making eye-catching late headway to finish a never nearer eight length sixth of 11 to Caitus College Girl under tender handling.
That run suggested Heading Home was one to keep an eye on this season when going handicapping, and he now makes his debut in that sphere having been gelded over the winter.
Connections are also fitting Heading Home with the cheekpeices for the first time, and the step up in trip may well bring about improvement given that his dam stayed 1m 7f.
If that proves to be the case, an opening mark of just 57 looks exploitable in what is a weak looking class 6 contest lacking any real strength in depth.
14.20: Risk Adjusted
15.20: Quite Smart
15.50: Soul Brother (NAP)
16.20: Rosie Crowe
17.20: Heading Home (NB)
17.50: Mon Gris