Rhys Williams has analysed Monday's racing and has one selection at Windsor.
"That suggests that the decision to drop Vocatus 2lb to 65 might have been overly generous, particularly considering the slow start."
Vocatus to add to sole success
Vocatus has only managed to gain one win from 22 starts but his mark has steadily dropped since joining Mick Appleby and I think he's capable of arresting that decline this evening.
He started his career with Jim Bolger and eventually got off the mark for him at the 14th attempt with a wide margin victory in a maiden at Galway.
He joined Appleby after that and was sent off 2/1 joint favourite on his first start for him off a mark of 79 at Newmarket in June last year but finished a well-held third.
He showed a bit of promise in his final two runs of last season in testing conditions at Windsor and Newmarket. Over 1m2f at Windsor, he was handier than ideal in a strongly run race and failed to see out the trip and he then ran respectably in defeat at Newmarket when beaten 4½ lengths in sixth.
Vocatus was well beaten on his first start of this season at Thirsk but there were excuses for that. He was squeezed out of a position on the rail early on and didn't seem to travel after that. He also raced furthest towards the inside rail in the home straight which may not have been ideal.
He bounced back from that last time with blinkers on for the first time at Yarmouth, putting in a performance that suggested a win may not be far away. He was slowly away and raced towards the back of the field early on before racing enthusiastically in the first-time headgear and moving into a position just behind the leaders at halfway. He was pushed along just over two furlongs out and plugged on well under stronger pressure after but could never quite challenge the leaders and was beaten three lengths in fifth.
The winner has since finished second off a 4lb higher mark, the runner up has since finished third off a 1lb higher mark, the third unlucky in being beaten half a length off the same mark and the fourth has since won off a 1lb lower mark. That suggests that the decision to drop Vocatus 2lb to 65 might have been overly generous, particularly considering the slow start.
There is a slight concern that he might start slowly again as he also had to be driven along from the stalls at Thirsk and it might be that seven furlongs is more suitable for him with the headgear on.
However, I think Vocatus has now slipped to an attractive mark and he's proven in testing conditions so any 8/1 or bigger appeals.
RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021
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