On another busy Monday, we steer lemming-like to the appeal of a low-grade sprint handicap. This time it is the beauty of the 5f course at the Yorkshire Santa Anita – Beverley.
The track is known for the most acute draw bias outside of Chester in the country. Low numbers have a distinct advantage, particularly for front runners (hold up horses can get boxed in). Middle draws can be good for “box-seat” horses – those who like to sit just off the pace and can tack in behind the pace setters, whilst high draws pretty much suit no-one.
Today’s 5f dash (1855 BST), features a veritable plethora of pace, with front runners in a number of the low stalls, notably Bronze Beau and Jack Luey in boxes 1 and 2. Had there been a lone pace angle then those draws may have been persuasive – but with a likely fight for the lead, this could set up for one that sits off the pace.
Coming from well off the pace is a tricky game at this track, one who loves that tactic is Thatcherite, who will probably need to swing to the far right (naturally) to make a challenge and may come through if the pace is suicidal.
The race is more likely to suit a box-seat runner, and the John Quinn trained The Nazca Lines looks well set to pull off that trick. The progressive 3yo had to chart a course more wavy than his Peruvian namesakes to get up on the line at Carlisle last time and could be good for a bit better than the bare result.
The Nazca Lines, apart from one ill-fated front running effort at Pontefract (an Inca stinker?) has been consistent and improving and likes to run from just behind the leaders so looks tactically ideal for the shape of this contest.
Recommendation: The Nazca Lines, (1855 Beverley), 1pt win, 9/2 generally available
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