Graham Gibbons
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Beverley Preview: Well-treated Space War primed for battle

| 23.09.2014

Space War has been given a chance by the handicapper and can take advantage to land the 7f contest at Beverley today (4.15).

The Mick Easterby trained gelding got back to winning ways at Thirsk in June when staying on strongly to beat Dialogue by 2 3/4 lengths off a mark of 62.

This seven-year-old scored with plenty in hand but, after being hit by a 6lb rise, failed to cut any ice in his next four starts.

However, the assessor was quick to cut Space War some slack and the son of Elusive City now gets into this contest off a rating which is just 1lb higher than when last successful.

That gives Space War, who won off 3lb higher last season, major claims from a handicapping perspective and he shaped as if coming back to form when fourth at Wolverhampton earlier this month.

Space War was heavily punted that day, but raced far too keenly at the head of affairs in the 1m 1f contest and weakened late on to finish fourth to Glennten.

The drop back to 7f this afternoon looks sure to suit and, if ridden with more restraint, Space War looks weighted to run a huge race in the hands of Graham Gibbons.

Im the 1m handicap (4.45) the dangerously well-treated Dolphin Rock looks to have plenty going for him now he’s eased in grade.

Trained by the ultra-shrewd Brian Ellison, the gelding scored twice last year with the last of those successes coming in a class 4 contest at Chester off a rating of 76.

The seven-year-old is now running off a career-low mark of just 64, a massive 12lb lower than when winning at the Roodee.

It makes Dolphin Rock look thrown-in at the weights if bouncing back to anything like his best, especially now dropped into class 5 company having shaped better than the bare result suggests in his last two outings in class 4 races.

In the last of those runs over 1m 2f at York, Dolphin Rock faded to finish ninth of 15 to Cosmic Halo having made progress out wide from off the pace to have every chance at the furlong marker.

The drop back to a mile looks a good move based on that effort and the rare booking of Jim Crowley, who is 1-1 for the stable in the past 12 months, on board suggests connections mean business.

2.10: Natural Nine
2.40: Jammy Moment
3.10: Flicka’s Boy
3.45: Kingsgate Native
4.15: Space War (NAP)
4.45: Dolphin Rock (NB)
5.15: Tamayuz Magic
5.45: Brockfield

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.