It's the British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday and Kevin Blake has spotted a big-priced bet in the opening race...
"His effectiveness on testing ground is also proven as he put up his best performance of last season when winning on heavy ground at Newbury in his final outing of the campaign."
Soft October surface at Ascot
The 10th edition of British Champions Day at Ascot is almost upon us. Soft ground will be the order of the day and while some will inevitably have a moan about the suitability of such a surface for top-class Flat racing, that is just the reality of the British climate in mid-October.
While some see such a surface as a barrier in the path to finding winners, others can see it as an opportunity. Personally, I always think that these late-season meetings on testing ground are ripe for searching for big-price selections.
Those that the form book suggest should come out on top have often had busy seasons and have shown their best form on less testing ground, so there is always a chance they will underperform on the day. In contrast, those that come into such meetings that bit fresher and are better suited by the ground can often overperform and reward those that take a chance on them.
The Long Distance Cup (13:20) is a race that has just that sort of look to it.
Stradivarius is quite clearly the best horse in the race and will win if running up to something approaching his best form.
However, he has been beaten in two of his three appearances in this race over the years and even his victory in it was a far from vintage performance, so it is clear that the circumstances that tend to prevail in this contest are not conducive to him showing his very best.
He may well not be at his best and still manage to win, but with him heading the market at around the even-money mark, looking for one at a bigger price against him is a very appealing prospect.
The unexposed Broome and the mud-loving Morando were both strongly considered, but the one that makes the most appeal is the Alan King-trained Trueshan. The four-year-old has only had 10 starts in his career, winning six of them and steadily progressing up the ranks. He has looked better than ever in recent starts, putting a slightly disappointing effort in the Ebor where he was left poorly positioned after a slow start behind him when winning a strong conditions race at Salisbury last time.
On that occasion he saw off the high-class stayer Withhold with authority and the style of his victory once again suggested that a step up to two miles will suit him well. His effectiveness on testing ground is also proven as he put up his best performance of last season when winning on heavy ground at Newbury in his final outing of the campaign. Hollie Doyle takes the ride and she will have fond memories of Trueshan as the two times they have combined in the past have resulted in victories.
It is clear that Trueshan will need to improve to get heavily involved of the finish of the Long Distance Cup, but the race appeals as presenting the right set of circumstances to him to produce a career-best effort.At 16/1, he is worth taking a chance on.