Tip Of The Day: To be the King
Our Matt Brocklebank reckons Peter Bowen's Court King can open his account at Uttoxeter this afternoon.
Peter Bowen: Could have a well-handicapped horse in Court King
Those of us who know the idiosyncrasies of Cartmel are well aware that it's a place that takes a bit of knowing.
The dry stone walls, large funfair in the centre and almost equally enormous gazebos flapping in the wind right up by the rails make for a unique kind of atmosphere, and then there's the super-tight left-hand bends the horses must negotiate on the track.
It's safe to say not all animals sent to the South Lakes venue are ideally suited to what it asked of them and Court King looked a perfect case in point when backed into favouritism for the Swan Hotel & Spa Hotel Handicap Hurdle on the Bank Holiday Monday at the end of last month.
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He started brightly, travelled well and held a decent early pitch for the first circuit and a half, but once the winner Perfect Poison injected some pace three from the finish he just couldn't live with them and ended up slipping back to fifth as he plugged on and the front four dashed away.
Some punters may not agree but that has to go down as a decent effort in the circumstances and returning to Uttoxeter for the Sentinel "May Un Mar Lady" Handicap Hurdle should see an even more positive showing.
He produced one of his best efforts yet when fourth over this course and distance back in July and it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that this half-brother to Godsmejudge is going to be seen in a better light on a far more galloping track than the Helter Skelter ride that is Cartmel.
Given his pedigree, there's a strong chance he won't fully peak until faced with a fence but there has been enough promise in his short hurdling career to date to suggest the son of Indian River can make his mark over timber.
It's clear good ground suits and the big field this afternoon should ensure they go a decent gallop and turn it into a true test, while the switch from a visor to a first-time hood might help bring about a little improvement.
Charlie Longsdon's record in this particular race sticks out as he's won the past three renewals and money for the returning Song Of The Night might be worth following, but Court King is an unexposed runner at a fair price on a day when stakes have to be kept low.
The switch from Cartmel back to Uttoxeter is the key factor but he has also been eased another 3lb in the weights for his latest run, which sees him competing off a 10lb lower mark than his initial handicap rating, and he's certainly a tempting proposition in an open-looking race.
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