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Tuesday 19 April 2011

Bertoliver to feel at home ?

The 2.00 Class 3 5f  Handicap sees 14 runners take to the unique Epsom contours for this sprint over the minimum trip. Its the fastest 5 furlongs in the country and it usually favours horses with course form at the distance.
Those to have run well here in the past are Bertoliver, Indian Trail, Falasteen and Cape Royal. The draw too will play a part, with those drawn HIGH (nearest the rail) sure to have a big say, but if anything is quick enough to bag the rail they will have an advantage against those drawn LOWER.
Bertoliver was a good winner of the 19 runner Dash at the Derby meeting last summer when establishing a clear lead in a better field than this after a blistering start before being run down close home by Hawkeyethenoo. With his saddle having slipped in the final furlong his young jockey was unable to give him the maximum assistance as they approached the line as his left leg was considerably lower than his right, however he managed to hang on. Bertoliver also ran well in this race last season when he was 3/4 length 3rd to Fathom Five and he is obviously a horse who has the ability to perform well at this track. Of course it maybe that he has his sights set on the Dash again onhis first run back and this race may not be at the top of his agenda this time around, but in the sprinting game you have to win when you have the chance. He won the Dash off a mark of 83 and he is only 3lb higher now so he must have place prospects at the very least as he is only a few stalls further out from the rail in this than in the Dash and 12/1 is a fair price about his chance.
Of course he is not the only horse in the race, Breathless Kiss was a tidy winner up at Beverley last time when he just got up on the line to win, he was subsequently raised just 4lb and he has the assistance of Fallon this time. Kevin Ryan has made a fine start to the season and he is always well represented in the sprints here.
David Barron has 2 runners Archers Road and Beat the Bell and I think the former has the edge on their meeting at Musselburgh at the back end of last season, although I'm not sure that is good enough to figure here.
Skylla represents Fahey and Hanagan and this horse was 3rd in the Gosforth Park Cup last season after leading to the furlong pole so he has a bit of pace about him.
Sir Geoffrey for David Nicholls is one of 4 entries for the stable and he looks to be the paciest of them, although old timer Indian Trail relishes coming through late on and Silaah has been running well of ;ate on the All Weather.
Best Trip has been showing good form at Kempton and Franny Norton has struck up a good partnership with him and he is capable of breaking quick from the gate fromstall 11 and I imagine he will be pushing the pace along with Sir Geoffrey, Skylla and Bertoliver and one of these could well win.
Given the very fast nature of this race and that things can change so quickly I am going to go each way on Bertoliver at 12/1.