Taunton Preview: King Massini ready to rule
King Massini can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the 2m 7f handicap chase at Taunton today (4.50).
Trained by Evan Williams, the gelding developed into a useful chaser last season when winning three times, with the last of those successes coming off a mark of 120 in a class 3 contest at Ludlow.
The nine-year-old easily beat Rydalis by seven lengths and was put up 11lb to 131 as a result.
King Massini has since failed to trouble the judge in 10 subsequent starts, but his handicap mark has fallen as a result and he is now able to race in this class 4 contest off just 118.
That is 2lb lower than when last successful and gives the son of Dr Massini major claims from a handicapping perspective.
King Massini also comes into the contest having signalled as if returning to form when fourth at Stratford last time out, and now gets fitted with the cheekpieces for the first time.
If the headgear has the desired effect, King Massini looks weighted to take all the beating in the hands of jockey Adam Wedge.
In the 3m handicap hurdle that closes proceedings (5.20), Oscar Jane is a fascinating contender on return to action after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The mare, who is trained by Johnny Farrelly, has only had seven starts and has clearly not been the easiest to train.
However, the eight-year-old hinted that she had ability on her penultimate start at Exeter when staying on well after getting hampered to finish a never nearer 12 length fourth of 10 to Lamblord in a class 4 contest over 2m 1f off a mark of 96 and is now able to race in this lower grade class 5 affair off just 87.
That gives Oscar Jane a big shout at the weights, especially as she was allotted an initial handicap mark of 102.
It’s also interesting that connections are stepping the daughter of Oscar up markedly in trip, and if ready to roll on her first start for 470 days Oscar Jane looks potentially very well treated.
3.20: Quite By Chance
3.50: Mister Grez
4.50: King Massini (NAP)
5.20: Oscar Jane (NB)