Catterick preview: Class-dropping Circuitous weighted to strike
Circuitous can take advantage of a huge drop in the weights to score an overdue success in the 6f handicap at Catterick today (17.00) now eased in grade.
The Keith Dalgleish trained gelding is on a long losing run, having not scored since landing the 2013 running of the Ayr Bronze Cup.
Circuitous made all and held on gamely to land the competitive 27-runner class 2 contest by a head off a mark of 78, and also ran well to finish runner-up off the same rating on reappearance last season.
The seven-year-old’s form then tailed off badly, but that resulted in the handicapper cutting Circuitous plenty of slack and the son of Fasliyev is now able to race off just 63.That is 15lb lower than when last victorious and gives Circuitous major claims from a handicapping perspective.
Circuitous also comes into the contest on the back of several promising runs in class 5 contests which suggest he is coming to the boil nicely, and now drops down into class 6 company for the first time in nearly three years.
In the 6f nursery (15.00), Chief Entertainer looks to have got in lightly on handicap debut.
Trained by Stuart Williams, the colt has shown ability in three quiet runs in maidens, and particularly caught the on debut when staying on under a hands and heels ride to finish a 4 1/4 length fifth to the now 100-rated to Lathom.
The fourth home Bathos, who finished just 3/4 of a length in front of the Chief Entertainer, has won three times since and is now rated 81 and the sixth and seventh home have also gone on to taste success of ratings of 61 and 72 respectively.
That is very strong form in the context of this class 6 contest and makes Chief Entertainer’s opening mark of 60 look very exploitable.
The son of Captain Rio has since gone on to finish a good fourth at Lingfield under very tender handling, and was also not knocked about last time out at the same venue when third.
Chief Entertainer has clearly been brought along with handicaps in mind, and to my eyes has the potential to make a mockery of his opening mark.
14.00: Shaka Zulu
14.30: Bobbys Babe
15.00: Chief Entertainer (NB)
16.00: Miss Macnamara
16.30: Edgar Balthazar
17.00: Circuitous (NAP)
Coral’s top tip: Circuitous to win @ 4/1