The Paul Midgley sprint battalion has generally been in top form in the past few weeks after a slow start to the season, and this spritely nine-year-old has remained consistent since getting back to winning ways in June.
He has gone up 8lb since the beginning of his recent resurgence in form which is not too harsh, given he has won two and been a creditable runner-up on the other two runs.
He had gone a while without winning before that and this time last season was still running very well off marks 7lb higher than the 64 he runs off here.
Older horses don’t generally keep their form for too long but I am hopeful Ninjago can hold his form for another couple of runs or so.
Ninjago is certainly more consistent than most of his rivals in this event and Oisin Murphy is clearly a significant booking.
Has never run on soft ground before but this German-bred’s sire has a strike-rate just shy of 20 per cent with his progeny who have run on soft or heavy conditions in the UK, so it is certainly possible Movie Star will handle the likely conditions.
Movie Star ran okay behind a bang-in-form Gas Monkey last time and had run even better on his previous two starts.
All these runs were in higher handicap grades than this contest and he has never run in a 0-60 before.
I have said before I like top-weights running off a mark acouple of pounds higher than the precise ratings band of the race as I believe that class often tells.
This positive is exacerbated by the booking of a good claiming jockey and I definitely think young Angus Villiers is worth 5lb in these apprentice events. He should get placed at least.
This race may well be an extra place race for several bookmakers, and I believe there are possibilities this one can fill one of them.
Searanger hasn’t been running that badly recently and the handicapper is seemingly giving him a chance to win one soon.
He is now 13lb lower than when he ended last season and has run well at Carlisle in the past - including on very soft ground - and is now mixing it with some very low-grade performers. Rebecca Menzies has her string in good form too.
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