This five-year-old probably should have won last time out, but made his challenge a shade early and was worn down close home.
It was clear he was handicapped to win as he had dropped to a mark 2lb below his most recent win and certainly produced an improved effort, his best since joining Stuart Williams.
He is set to rise in the weights, and this will be his first run outside top-grade open handicap company, so his quick reappearance is no surprise.
It is encouraging he had his best period in his career when running four times within a month last year, winning twice, so is clearly a sufficiently robust type.
Jason Watson’s job is to deliver Alemaratalyoum, who is clearly back in form now, as late as possible and, given that it is a near certainty that this race will be run at a very solid pace, his task should be made a lot easier. Indeed, the jockey’s job may prove easier than the commentator’s given the horse's name...
Tor has never raced in this kind of lowly company on turf - he is selling-class on the All-weather - and is now 20lb lower than when he last ran over this course and distance.
There is no denying his tumbling mark has been justified but I have a strong belief in his trainer, Iain Jardine, to get him back in the winners’ enclosure and there have been one or two signs that a return to form could be on the horizon.
The drop in grade means he is up against a moderate bunch of totally exposed horses who do not win often and I am hoping that running in this company might spark a return to form.
This is the in-form and improving consistent horse in a field where few offer the same potential upside or much in the way of reliability.
After bolting up in a seller at Thirsk in July, Adrian Nicholls’ three-year-old appears to have improved with each run.
The trip, draw and jockey booking are all positives and confidence is boosted by the fact that there is no well-handicapped Irish challenger in against him to throw a spanner in the works.
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