Redcar 3-55 Zetland Gold Cup
Flipando 5 10 (Ladbrokes go 8s here)
Checklow 6 8 (Lad’s 7)
Military Power 7 10 BET 10 early
Unbreak My Heart 8 10
King Charles 8 8
Kingdom of Fife 9 4
Mystery Star 10 12
Pace is the issue here. There appear to be no confirmed front runners and plenty of hold-up horses, the whole thing potentially a muddle. But Military Power has taken the lead at Nad Al Sheba and appears the sole lead horse in today’s field. That’s a plus and his position in stall 5 is handy. Of the others, I like the look of Flipando’s runs in big handicaps, though today he is in stall 6 and likely to have traffic problems as so many others are held up. He won this in 2007 but is at his limit distance-wise. Checklow is lightly raced and has an in-form trainer. Given the possible ‘lone front runner makes all’ scenario, I take Military Power to do just that, with Checklow coming across to track him from stall 13 and Flipando just getting through from behind the crowd to make 3rd. I have bet accordingly.
Elsewhere, I did read through Celtic Sultan’s runs last year – plenty of good form in big handicaps where a good finish is obscured by the numbers, hence the ‘duck eggs’ in his formline. He is a classy front runner but needs to dominate from the front else has difficulties sustaining any advantage. Saturday’s win showed just that, a small field giving him little opposition for the lead. I would say that 9/1 was not an outsider’s price either, the bookies clearly reading the formbook too. An educational exercise.