Rhys Williams struck with a 5/1 winner yesterday and has three selections for today's racing...
"It's been clear from his runs for Simcock that Repertoire either needs a pace meltdown over a mile or a step up in trip and he gets the latter today, racing over 1m2f for the first time in his career."
Drop back in trip to suit
This race is full of promising middle-distance three-year-olds who come into this race on the back of good performances but it's a horse who was well beaten last time who makes some appeal at a big price.
Having run well in defeat on the first two starts of his career at Lingfield, Too Friendly got off the mark at Doncaster in fairly impressive fashion. Having been a bit keen early on, he soon settled on the rail in fifth. He was nudged along with three furlongs to go as the pace quickened and he was travelling all over Dhushan, tracking that rival to the outside with just over a furlong to go. He was sent to the front inside the final furlong and didn't appear to be doing much in front, winning by 1½ lengths.
The ease with which he beat Dhushan was notable and that horse has won both starts since and is now rated 92 while the fourth, fifth and sixth are now rated 78, 83 and 80 respectively.
That victory impressed connections enough to run Too Friendly in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom but he could never put in any serious challenge and finished sixth.
His latest start came in the King George V Handicap over 1m4f at Royal Ascot and he shaped better than the finishing position suggests. He raced a bit keenly on the outside a bit further forward than midfield and he was still travelling strongly entering the home straight in fourth. However, he was pushed along soon after and dropped away from 1½ furlongs out, eventually being beaten by eight lengths in fourteenth.
It was clear that the distance was too far for Too Friendly and the drop back to 1m2f is likely to suit, particularly with the potential for this to be well run which should help him settle better in the early stages.
It may turn out that he wants a further drop back in trip and a strongly run mile or 1m1f will see him at his best but the form of his Doncaster win and the way he travelled at Ascot suggests that Too Friendly could be better than his rating of 88 and any 16/1 or bigger appeals.
Has looked in need of further
Repertoire started his career his Andre Fabre and showed a good level of ability over both 6½ furlongs and a mile. His final run for Fabre suggested that he may want further than a mile but this will be the first time that he's run over such a distance.
His five starts since moving to David Simcock have been over seven furlongs or a mile and he's continued to look in need of more of a test of stamina.
He ran well over the straight mile at Ascot three starts ago despite the fairly slow pace not being ideal. He was niggled along at various stages while racing towards the back of the field and was pushed along with two furlongs to go. He took a little while to hit top gear before staying on well late on to finish third.
Repertoire lacked the necessary speed over a mile again at Newbury next time before shaping well on his most recent start at Sandown over a mile.
Shaken along early on, he raced at the back of the field and was still there with two furlongs to go. Having been towards the inside, he was switched to the outside to get a clear run and ran on well up the hill to finish fifth.
It's been clear from his runs for Simcock that Repertoire either needs a pace meltdown over a mile or a step up in trip and he gets the latter today, racing over 1m2f for the first time in his career. This race is also likely to be well run with Data Protection in the field and Repertoire's action suggests that the ground should be no issue for him.
It may turn out that he simply has no turn of foot and that his extravagant action is preventing him from progressing any further but his rating has dropped 7lb since leaving Fabre and I think he has more ability than his rating of 89 so any 15/2 or bigger appeals.
Could bounce back on return to a straight mile
Lexington Force has progressed this season from the promise he showed in three runs last season but it wouldn't be a complete shock if he bounced back given the circumstances today.
He ran well on his final start of last year over a straight mile at Redcar when only beaten a quarter of a length in third off 85. The winner of that race won two of his next three starts and is now rated 11lb higher while the runner up won two of his next four and is now rated 5lb higher and the fourth was narrowly beaten on his next two starts.
Meanwhile, it hasn't gone so well for Lexington Force since. He was stepped up to 1m2f at Chelmsford for his first start of this season. He raced keenly early on and then couldn't go with the leading pair turning the final bend before having nothing left late on.
He was stepped back in trip to a mile for his next start at Kempton but was a bit awkwardly away from the stalls and was never travelling, eventually finishing last.
He remained at a mile for his next start at Windsor where he got trapped wide and didn't look too comfortable on the bend. The quick ground may also have played a part in that and he finished eighth.
On his latest start, Lexington Force was stepped up in trip to 1m3f and was dropped out the back early on. He remained there, travelling well, for much of the race before making a little headway early in the home straight and then having nothing left late on.
He's been dropped 6lb as a result of those four runs and now returns to a straight mile for the first time since finishing third at Redcar last season and I think that's ideal for him. He's also likely to have a strong pace to settle and close off and that should suit too.
The ground is an unknown but I think this will be more suitable than the ground at Windsor and it may not be too soft by the final race anyway if the rain stays away.
There is a chance that he's just an awkward ride and may need headgear or that he's had an issue that means he's not as good as he was last year but I think he's faced unsuitable tests in three of his four starts this season and didn't go a yard in the other so he could bounce back and any 20/1 or bigger appeals.
RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021
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