It can hardly go down as an auspicious start to the season last week, but the coin came down on the wrong side in a couple of close finishes and I had horses run well at big prices plus was gradually gaining in confidence by the end of last week.
Hopefully I can press on from here and I have three selections for you at Haydock on Tuesday which will be shown live on Racing TV.
In 2017, this horse won his maiden first time out and then followed up off a rating of 88 in a handicap. In 2018, he was second in a 0-105 off 97 on his seasonal debut and last year scored off 88 on his reappearance.
All of these excellent efforts came on the back of a six-month break, so it looks a reasonable expectation that he will go very well again here.
He is down to a rating of 86 after drawing a blank for the rest of the season but by no means performing deplorably and had excuses on several of his runs.
Jim Crowley has not won on him, but has rode him well in hot races, and his trainer, Robert Cowell, had a 40-1 winner on Monday, his first after the resumption of racing, but most have run pretty well in recent days which is another positive.
Has the advantage of a recent run and that edge might be just enough for him to gain his first win for a while here.
He proved at Newmarket last week that a recent wind operation has certainly not had a negative effect on him, and he stayed on really well before just failing to get his head in front.
He is a Group winner in the past and in the first half of last season he was running consistently well in the highest grade of handicaps before becoming inconsistent in the second half, but it is years since he has run in a race at this lower level.
There will definitely be a strong pace here and though he will be out the back early, with the stalls in the centre, he should have a clear path to make ground up the stands side and I am sure he will go close.
There are a couple of runners, at least, in this race who are interesting having moved to new trainers and a few who were on a roll in the second half of last season. The market is going to be very informative and in selecting Knighted, I have probably gone for the least sexy horse in the race.
However, that will hopefully be reflected in his price. It is a generous stance, but it is possible to make some sort of excuse on his past four runs spanning two seasons, and clearly his owners think he is worth persevering as Highclere Thoroughbred-owned horses are usually moved on after their four-year-old season.
If he were to resume an upward curve, he is undoubtedly be well handicapped, and I think Knighted is worth chancing over what could be an ideal trip. Kevin Ryan’s horses have also generally been running well since the resumption of racing too.
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