Trader’s Trackers – 10/4/23

Our trader highlights some eyecatchers from last week's racing

Steve, Senior Trader

Steve, Senior Trader

11 months ago

Heatherdown to prove a hero for Menzies

Heatherdown Hero – 4-year-old gelding – Rebecca Menzies – Heatherdown Hero caught the eye on several occasions for his previous yard and should win races having moved to a shrewd stable. Normally held up, he was gunned into the lead here off a four month break and simply didn’t get home at a track where bold front-runners rarely fare well. He should strip fitter for that effort and can make his mark in races over 10-12f on the all-weather for this yard.

Vintage Valley – 4-year-old gelding – Donald McCain – Vintage Valley has clearly been hard to train but has given the impression on both all-weather starts that he is capable of winning a small race on the surface. He looked rusty when a staying-on sixth at Newcastle in March and caught the eye travelling well in the lead at Southwell last time. In the end he was no match for the progressive Kiss My Face, but he served it right up to that rival, with the pair pulling clear of solid yardstick in third. A Class 6 handicap is within his range, possibly over slightly shorter than the 2 mile trip he ran over here.

Non To Follow

Non Mollare – 6-year-old mare – Darragh Bourke – Non Mollare has been progressing steadily at a low level and again shaped as though she had more ability than her mark here. Although eventually finishing 9th of 14, she ran much better than the finishing position. Trapped wide throughout, she made a big , wide move from the back of the pack to just about lead at the two furlong pole, but was never going to be able to sustain that effort, tiring late on. She looked in top form here still and off a mark of 55 can get into some very weak races.

Gastronomy – 4-year-old gelding – Roger Varian – on the same card as Non Mollare, Gastronomy also caught the eye. Given the speed he showed on his previous start over a mile at Wolverhampton, stepping up to 12f was unlikely to ever suit him and he was too keen in the early stages here. Also trapped wider than ideal, he made good progress on the unfavoured outside to challenge, only to weaken inside the final furlong. A drop back to 10f will suit and he looks on a good mark for top connections.

Judgment Call – 5-year-old gelding – Linda Perratt – Linda Perratt’s yard is renowned for being a slow starter, so it was surprising that Judgement Call was sent off favourite on Saturday for a Class 5 handicap at Musselburgh. In the circumstances, he ran well enough, travelling like the best handicapped horse but just getting tired in the final furlong, which was to be expected for a yard that has a historical strike-rate of 4/337 (1.1%) on turf in March and April. A well-bred Qatar Racing cast-off, he should be winning more races as the season goes on, particularly when the yard hit form.