Trinity House has the edge
TRINITY HOUSE, good enough to beat all except Princess Victoria in the Fillies Guineas, is out to make her class tell in the Graham Beck Memorial Sceptre Stakes at Kenilworth on Monday.
She is the only three year-old in the field and her age group have won four of the last six runnings. The only problem is that she is dropping back from a mile to 1 200m.
The last time she tackled a trip as short as this was in the Alan Robertson at Scottsville seven months ago and her rider came in reporting that she wanted further. “I agree that the Scottsville race could have been a bit short but the race came at the end of her first season,” says Joey Ramsden. She had some pretty good six furlong form and I don’t think the distance is a problem.”
But Covenant could be. Last year’s winner, although not officially the best on merit ratings, is the only Grade 1 winner in the field and she is real class.
The way she kept on behind champion sprinter Val De Ra on her reappearance in the Southern Cross oozed promise and she looks the one they all have to beat. Furthermore she is ridden by Karl Neisius who is bidding for his fifth Sceptre win in ten years.
“It won’t be an easy race for her but she has been doing well and her work at home is good,” reports Candice Robinson who says that the filly is likely to attempt to complete last season’s double in the Klawervlei Majorca.
This is jointly the smallest Sceptre field since Laisser Faire, almost unbackable at 1-5, frightened off all but four of her opponents ten years ago.
But that is not through any fault of Justin Snaith who provides a third of the field.
He has never won this race and his trio are headed, in theory if not in practice, by Fragrant Al who is rated a kilo better than both stable companion State Blue and Covenant, and no less than 4.5k superior to Trinity House.
“I hope Fragrant Al will run better this time but she is not doing or looking her best,” Snaith cautions. “State Blue (the mount of stable jockey Felix Coetzee) and Dance With Al are both at the top of their game.
“State Blue is in her normal good form and the other filly is the best I’ve had her this season.”
Captain’s Emblem would have been 5-7k behind the big guns but for being raised a questionable six points for last time’s handicap win. “That surprised me a bit,” says Vaughan Marshall. “But it will be a nice galloping race which suits her and I think she will go well.”
The remainder have at least three to five lengths to find on ratings.
There have been two real long shots (33-1 and 40-1) in the past four seasons but there is no logical reason why there should be another.