5:00 – Yarmouth – GREENE KING IPA HANDICAP (CLASS 2) (3yo 0-100) Good To Firm 1m3f101y
Frankie Dettori may not be the automatic choice he once was at Godolphin but he looks tailor made to give Expert Fighter a good ride in a weak looking Class 2 Handicap at Yarmouth this afternoon. Horses with a rating up to 100 can run in Class 2 races, yet the top weight runs off just 92 in a race which is worth nearly £10,000 to the winner and in a smallish field of 8 runners Dettori could well dictate things from the front.
Expert Fighter is still unexposed after just 5 career starts on the flat turf and the 3 year old chestnut colt has only run four times over middle distances. A look at his record when running between 1 mile 2 furlongs and 1 mile 4 furlongs reveals that he has won once and been placed once but was beaten a total of 63 lengths on his other two starts on grass which may be cause for concern.
However, Expert Fighter appears to need fast ground to be seen to best effect. Of his five turf runs three have come in Good ground or Softer and he has not acted on these surfaces. He has run twice on Good to Firm ground and he has won on both occasions so could be said to be very ground dependent. The going at Yarmouth today is Good to Firm and it has been dry overnight with no rain forecast. Therefore, Expert Fighter has his ideal conditions today.
He runs over a distance of 1 mile 3 ½ furlongs and he won over 1 mile 4 furlongs two starts back at Newmarket and was well in command a furlong out, so the slight drop in trip should not be against him. He was ridden by Frankie Dettori and he made all on the day in a 7 runner field. Frankie has ridden his twice including his last run at York 25 days ago when he again attempted to make all before Expert Fighter weakened 2 furlongs out with the Good ground appearing to be against him.
The pattern is now established and we can expect Dettori to take Expert Fighter to the front from the off. Frankie is an extremely good judge of pace when riding from the front and will attempt to slip the field, probably about 2 furlongs from home. He will not have things his own way as amongst others the equally unexposed Willie Wag Tail is in opposition again today. The pair raced at York last time with Willie Wag Tail beating Expert Fighter by around 13 lengths. However Willie Wag Tail will be a very short priced favourite today and when he was asked to make his effort ay York he did hang left before running on. At the prices, with Frankie looking to make all, a repeat of the Willie Wag Tail’s antics here today could lose him his chance and at 9/1 Expert Fighter looks decent value against the field.