Swinburn presents some extra value
HE won't be wearing an ankle-length red coat, a white beard and a red cap but man-of-the-moment Walter Swinburn could turn Santa Claus for Double Trio punters tomorrow night. This is the final equitrack meeting at Happy Valley but there will be no tears shed for the overdue departure of a synthetic surface that has been a headache virtually from the day it was put down - for punters and Jockey Club officials alike. For pre-Christmas punters looking for that little extra, Swinburn could be the answer as he takes out two interesting mounts for trainer David Oughton in the absence of stable rider Mick Kinane.
The Irish champion returned home at the weekend and, as previously, Swinburn steps in to deputise. He could do so with maximum effect on Figure It Out and Solar Century in the respective legs of the Double Trio. Neither is necessarily an out-and-out win bet but they do look particularly attractive as bankers for the DT as they have the definite ability - and recent trackwork form - to run in the first three.
Solar Century in the second leg is a moderate Class Five galloper going over 1,600 metres and he is blinkered for the first time. The gelding's work has picked up significantly and Oughton may well have gone the right way in putting on the blinkers. Solar Century is a solid equitrack performer and he does have ability which he most certainly does not always show. But allied to his recent work, the new equipment may well prove vital and Solar Century is a confident banker suggestion in a race devoid of much talent.
High Reward looks an ungenuine customer but local idol Tony Cruz is having real luck with trainer John Moore. Saturday's last race winner, Master Eagle, would have been dubbed with the same inglorious epithet as High Reward but he won like a good horse. Cruz has lovely hands and Master Eagle responded on Saturday but it may be too much to hope that High Reward, who has had numerous chances, does the same. But keep him safe. Raider's Luck could have benefitted from a recent outing when finishing second and is worth including.
Swinburn partners dour stayer Figure It Out in the first leg of the DT, a moderate staying test for Classes Five and Six gallopers. Figure It Out needs as far as he can get but ran an exceptional race first-up over the longer sprint here - stayers do that - but did not flatter quite so much at his last start. However, he is worth a chance over 2,000 metres on equitrack. If Swinburn can keep him in touch, Figure It Out could run home over the top of them, depending on the condition of the synthetic track.