5:20 – Kempton – 32RED CASINO HANDICAP (DIV I) (CLASS 4) (3yo+ 0-85) Standard 1m
Cruiser’s last run 16 days ago came over course and distance when he contested the London Mile Handicap (Series Final) and finished fifth, just 3 ¾ lengths behind the winner. That was a Class 2 handicap and he lead until the final furlong and a similar effort back down into a Class 4 Handicap could see the 4 year old bay gelding pick up him second win of the season.
Cruiser has run three times on the all weather with all three runs coming at Kempton over today’s trip of 1 mile. He made his debut at the track in May in a Class 3 handicap and despite being a 28/1 outsider he managed to hold on when being ridden hard to win by a neck. He ran again at the track in July and stayed on to finish a respectable 3rd. He also put in a very respectable effort on his last run in Class 2 bursting clear a furlong from home. He was not able to maintain his effort however, but only weakened in the last 100 yards and did beat the 97 rated Godolphin runner Royal Empire, who boasted two wins from two runs at Kempton previously and had horses in behind with handicap mark’s in the 90’s and as high as 103.
He is down in class this afternoon and is running off a handicap mark only 2lbs higher that he won off here in May. He will not be facing anything of the calibre of horses he ran against last time and with George Baker riding for the first time could be in ideal hands to strike again.
George has a good strike rate when riding for Cruiser’s trainer, William Muir with 12 wins from 61 rides over the last 5 seasons. Cruiser likes to be ridden close to the pace but needs to be delivered late in his run to be seen to best effect and George Baker is one of the best in the business at coming through late to win on the line.
Cruiser’s turf form is somewhat uninspiring to say the least, but his all weather form at Kempton is much better and still potentially progressive. As he has only run three times on the surface to date and boasts win and place form alongside a decent effort up in class last time he can be expected to be close again today.