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Preview - 21 Apr 2008

3:10 RIU PALACE MELONERAS HANDICAP (CLASS 2) (4yo+,0-100) Winner £11,215.80 6f GD-SFT

Horses to consider

Genki –(6/1) – Has everything in favour for a big run in course, ground and trip and a lot relies on if he has the class to win at this level of this mark. Already has won 3/3 in class 2 handicaps, he broke his maiden tag on first start last season and for a sprinter is very lightly raced so there is every chance that he is fit to go first time here. Best performances have come in small fields and with non-runner’s a plenty this morning he may have that ideal as well. On the upgrade and could contest listed and group races this season.

115 – Has improvement to come from the best of his last 3 runs which came at Ascot a course regarded as stiff enough, under similar conditions, the fitness edge he had that day shouldn’t effect him as he is for a sprinter very lightly raced. Is very game and going the right way he will have to improve to win of this mark, but more then capable?

Stevie Gee –(11/2) – Has proven very effective on ground with juice in it and has also shown good speed over six furlongs in his short career so far. Six furlongs on a stiff track is an unknown quantity for this horse, but he is breed to like a stiffer test of stamina and to get further so it could work out ideal with the trainer more then aware of what it takes around here. This is a much tougher class of race then what he won last time, but he did land a listed class stake as a 2yo and if that form was to equate to a all age handicap as stoutly contested as that he wouldn’t have a doubt about this race of a low weight. However he is likely to need to improve but there could be further improvement from the 4yo that is race fit.

118 – Best recent effort was last week and that was over seven furlongs on a flat galloping track and the fact that the trip that day was quite sharp even though on very soft ground will maybe equate to the six furlongs in a keenly contested race at a stiffer testing track. However he may find a few things happening to quick for him even though he handles the ground and it was drying that day. That win was against some exposed regressive types looking to return to form and this is much tougher.

Ingleby Arch –(16/1) – Know what we get from this sprinter and he has fallen down the weights in recent months to a contestable mark. Successful over the winter at the deep surface of southwell he has the ground very much in his favour today for this run on good ground with plenty of cut in it. The six-furlong trip is his distance to be running over having struggled to get home over further and he isn’t sure to appreciate the stiffness of this six-furlong track today having performed best on galloping and undulating tracks even though Hamilton can be quite stiff and maybe he would want a easier class of race these days even though he is looking handicapped to go well at this level on old class 2 form achieved as a 3yo.

111 – Best recent performances were the back-to-back wins on the fibre sand in which he clearly had a new lease of life on and given the average return to turf when fit last time (funny race) was around a stone light of those winning performances suggest he isn’t at the top of his game on this surface anymore and a easier class of race may be best served, but it has to be noted the ground was very testing that day and this should be a better run but stamina maybe an issue with testing ground proving limitations again in the horse.

Zomerlust –(14/1) – Has much in favour having won this race in the past, albeit when the race was a much lesser handicap then these days. Stamina isn’t a problem with this horse as he is kind of a in between distance horse, which can be a problem for a exposed 6yo in handicaps against improvers, but is suited to this six furlongs which has proven to be his ideal trip as he is always one to note on a flat six when the pace in generous in a big field handicap. The ground today should be fine as he handles anything up to good racing ground with some juice underfoot. Has form at this level but isn’t a genuine top class handicapper, but will benefit from the weight he has to carry this time around at this level and if still as good as he was 2yrs ago could well be back in with a chance in this handicap.

107 - The pick of his last 3 runs was back at York in October a track that has proven to big good to him in the past, but that effort wasn’t great and next time at Donnie he suffered further disappointment which led me to believe he may not be in rude health anymore and has been over raced for his type. Returned to action in that weird race at Doncaster in the mud and struggled home to not show much, he needs to return to form and may well do so now after skinning fitter for that run, but he may struggle even though eased further in the weights he is against some inform and in good health rivals today.

Damikia –(7/1) – Some-slight ground concerns over this horse today as his record on ground with give in isn’t as prolific as quick ground, however he won on ground similar to this today when making all at Newmarket back in the Autumn and clearly enjoyed it that day so there is little likely to be wrong with the ground and did run a decent race behind Turnkey here last season even though his other performances on a stiff track such as this has been a concern in the past. Very effective over 6F and 7F he will like the stiffer test of stamina today on a track such as this even though a strong galloping track such as Newmarket has seen him at his best in the past.

114 – Best performance in the last 3 runs was that run at Newmarket over seven furlongs on ground with give underfoot which he is likely to encounter today and if you take his performance at Doncaster on a higher weight as a guide to his wellbeing he is just below that class of performance in a low class race. Today he is in the same class and on a stiffer six furlongs than at Doncaster, so it could help his stamina that he clearly has based on the performance over seven at Newmarket. However he could be more an interest when stepped back up to seven and may just find others hard to peg back today and is needing some improvement today which is hard fathom any from his profile to win of this mark.

Distinctly Game (16/1) – At the right end of the handicap and has had limited tries on ground with some juice in and the fact he is yet to win with fast ground being his winning races suggest he may not like it, however he has put up some decent performances on this surface in the past from his limited runs and may well be able to run a big race today with potential improvement on turf for this surface. However weather it is enough to win today is unlikely even though trainer did have 3 declared runners in this handicap this morning. Six furlongs is the correct trip for this horse, but he stamina isn’t assured over this stiffer test then he is use too, Finished last twice in strongly contested handicaps over five and six on stiff tracks.

112 – Best recent run came two runs back on a surface he constantly does well on and that was at Kempton when not beaten far in a class 3 handicap, the run next time in a class 4 handicap mirrored that run where he was beaten a little further but ran to a similar level with a bigger weight and these performances need to be improved on to win at this level even though it proves he is more then capable of running a race at this level still, when there is further concerns with the likes of Zomerlust. The ground may improve the horse potential at this level, but will it be enough the doubts are there and he has enjoyed much success on the all-weather and maybe his career lies there as overall he is very exposed.

Verdict – A change of preview style, as I narrow down the field now and concentrate further on the horses that make the requirements.  In my view, today’s race could be the ideal stepping stone for the lightly raced Genki who has a strong looking record. The price of 6-1 looks more then fair for this horse and out of the ones I have touched on he looks very solid value at this price. Damika could go well, but there is further races in him when returned to seven furlongs, while Stevie Gee may find this happening a little too fast for him today. Zomerlust could get a place in this today, if finding his old form and rates as the next best at the price, while Ingleby Arch has stamina doubts to be a betting chance at 16-1.

Selection GENKI 4 pts win @ 6-1 (6.2-1 BF)

Best of luck all

Well Chief