Catterick preview: Sir Geoffrey to gain deserved success
Sir Geoffrey has been knocking on the door of late and can gain a deserved success in the 5f handicap on today’s card at Catterick (17.30).
The Scott Dixon trained nine-year-old has been a terrific servant over the years, winning 14 of his 106 starts and finishing in the frame on 21 occasions.
In the last of those successes 16 months ago, Sir Geoffrey made all and stayed on strongly to score by a length over course and distance off a mark of 62.
The gelding was then not at his best in the first half of this season, but after being given a break has posted three really solid efforts which suggest another win is imminent.
They include an excellent 3/4 length second of 10 over course and distance two starts back off a mark of 55, and Sir Geoffrey is now able to race in this lower grade class 6 affair off the same rating.
It gives the veteran major claims from a handicapping perspective, and other pluses are that Sir Geoffrey has bagged a good draw in stall three from and is versatile as regards ground.
The New Pharaoh disappointed last time out but looks worth another chance to build on previous promise in the 1m 7f handicap (16.00).
Trained by Chris Wall, the gelding hinted at ability three starts in maidens, and caught the eye in the last of those on seasonal reappearance when seventh of 11 to Irish Hawke over 1m 1f at Lingfield.
Although beaten just over 12 lengths, The New Pharaoh was very tender handled and kept on nicely in the closing stages.
It was an effort which suggested there was better to come when stepped up in trip, and the four-year-old looked to have been brought along with handicaps on mind.
The New Pharaoh was allotted what looked a lenient opening handicap mark of 60 on the back of that effort, but failed to shine when trailing in a distant sixth of 10 at Kempton.
It was a run which was too bad to be true, and something was clearly amiss.
The son of Montjeu has since been given a break to freshen up, and having quickly been dropped 2lb to a mark of 58 could potentially be thrown-in at the weights in this class 6 contest given his unexposed profile and breeding.
14.00: Early Bird
14.30: Fumata Bianca
15.00: Lady Mcguffy
16.00: The New Pharaoh (NB)
17.00: Studio Star
17.30: Sir Geoffrey (NAP)