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Friday 8 May 2015

Van the Man !

Well back to my sprint roots today as there is a wide outsider that I think has the potential to do better than his 50/1 odds.
Van Ellis drops to Class 3 handicap company following his Class 2 run at Ripon against the likes of Pipers Note and Tatlisu.
The handicapper has dropped him 5lb from 100 to 95 and the excellent Cam Hardie takes off another 3lb.
James Doyle was booked at Ripon, Van Ellis's first run back following a long break, so Steve Flook, who is better known as a Hunter Chase trainer must have thought he had a chance in that race.
At Ripon he set a very good pace on the far side leading the field before he eventually gave way and faded at about the furlong pole. He was allowed to come home in his own time and was well beaten according to a number of race readers. The Racing Post analysis said the following "Led far side, headed over 1f out, weakened and eased"
This run was no surprise given that he was coming back off an 814 day break.
He was bought for 8,000 at the 2014 Ascot December Sales having previously been with Mark Johnston and Godolphin.
When with Johnston he won twice at Chester in 2012, both wins coming from stall 9 of 9 runners(we've seen this week its difficult to overcome a high draw) so he did very well to win both of those, the latter of which was a listed race.
Immediately prior to that Listed win he won the Skybet Dash by a length and a quarter over 6f at York off a mark of 100 when he was drawn in possibly the worst stall of all on the straight track number 1.
In October 2012 he contested the Group 2 Champions Sprint at Ascot where he came up against the likes of Group 1 winning sprinters Society Rock and Maarek. He once again got the worst of the draw in stall 1 of 15 but he showed up well without getting any cover and faded at the furlong pole. He was a 3yo though against older horses and he was only beaten 6 1/4 lengths at the line.
Prior to his return last month his last run was when 2nd at Meydan for Godolphin in 2013.
He has only run 15 times in total in his 6 years and 6 is an age that top sprint trainer Robert Cowell says is the best age for a sprinter, so he is in his prime with possible improvement/return to his old form to come. The handicapper had him rated as high as 108 as a 3yo and with Cam Hardie's claim he is effectively now running off a mark of 92.

He runs 7.10 at Ascot on Friday over 6f, he is drawn 7 of the 14 so hopefully he will get a little bit of cover if needed. I am not saying he is going to win but at the likely price of between 33/1 to 50/1 he could represent some value and is worth a small each way investment at those odds.