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Preview - 04 June 2008


8.20 The Directors Cup Handicap Class 3 1M Soft


Observatory Star – 104 + Exit Smiling – 100 + Wigwam Willie – 98 + Billy Dane – 97 / Crocodile Bay – 96 - Moheeb – 96 - Vicious Warrior – 93 + Tenecdeur – 92 -

Horses to Consider

Observatory Star – The ground should be no problem for this son of Observatory, as he looks to build on the performances he recorded last season, on what is his seasonal return to the track. Looks to have more to come under these conditions, he could carry on his progression in this class 3 handicap, where he is one of just two runners left in this field who genuinely look like they can hold their own in better quality handicaps. around what appears quite an exposed bunch for this race today. He may come on for the run after today’s race and maybe it is best to wait with the horse until his next run, which could well come at his ideal course of Redcar, where he finished a eye catching 2nd to Frequency last term. That form really stands out well, considering that rivals performance in the Zetland Gold Cup the other week. If fit, he would take all the beating, as he has won at this track in the past.

Exit Smiling – The ground has come right for this Newcastle scorer here tonight and that performance on soft ground over the straight mile should stand him in good stead in this handicap tonight from the lower half of the handicap. Placed at this level in the past, he can go one better tonight, with an assured good gallop on the agenda, for the conditions. He has, in the past, put up a performance that would have him in with a solid chance of winning this. He seems to be getting back to his best these days. He'scapable of better and with an advantage at the weights with Moheebb, he should confirm that form and hold his own with the best of these today.

Wigwam Willie – A mile on soft ground is more then ideal for this horse, whose performance at his beloved Ayr last season would have him home and hosed in this tonight. However, his task is made harder at the weights since that win, and he has suffered for it. The horse needs a return to confidence, now that the handicapper has dropped him down the weights again and he should run a big race under these conditions for Kevin Ryan. This could spark him back to life. He isn’t the most exposed handicapper considering his age and his performances are very much ground dependant. A big show seems likely tonight, but he may have to play second fiddle to the more progressive rival in Observatory Star in this race.

Verdict – Not a vintage handicap and one that is lacking in real quality for a class 3 events and the amount of future winners from this handicap at class 3 level isn’t likely to be many under these conditions. Crocodile Bay and Billy Dane both look a shade below this level under these conditions even though their recent effort suggests they are more then capable of performing at this level. Exit Smiling has the fitness aspect, while Observatory Star looks the horse with the most potential in the field but hasn’t had a run, Wigwam Willie is consistent under these conditions and is weighted to go well if producing his best but may need a confident booster and with Tim Easterby runner in the field may find one to strong. However Exit Smiling catches the eye in this at 12-1 and that for me is a more then generous price to be involved with.

Selection Exit Smiling 1 pt win @ 12-1 (14’sBF)

Best of luck all

Well Chief