Late comers have whip hand in TT
LAWRENCE WADEY, Racing Editor
Swoopers and swampers are almost certainly going to be the order of the night at tomorrow night's Happy Valley fixture, where a profound track bias is set to operate on the $1 billion revamped circuit.
This factor looks the most important element to solving the Triple Trio which, as usual, operates on races three, four and six and requires punters to find the first three, in any order, in all of these races. The rail is out three metres from Saturday night's 'C' position where there was a very significant bias operating to those racing and finishing out wide. Anything which stuck to the fence or, for that matter, within three or four horses' width of the fence, had no chance at all after about race two. And a walk across the track after racing confirmed why.
The ground on the inside was very churned up and sandy, it was like a beach after the bank holiday revellers had departed, whereas the ground out wide was much firmer and more compact. Tomorrow night promises to be more of the same, and expect to see the entire field heading towards the outside fence, especially in the latter races. With swoopers and swampers in mind, Mehrban looks likely banker material in the opening leg of the Triple Trio.
Generally, trainer Bruce Hutchison's horses have been running well of late, and Mehrban has been shaping most consistently without getting his head in front. He is drawn barrier one tomorrow night but that's not as bad as it sounds as his style of racing is to get back anyway.
The other thing that is worth remembering in the context of the Triple Trio is that Mehrban only has to run a place, not to win.
Don Pedro had a tough run last time and could even be worth taking as a double banker with Mehrban, for those looking to keep down the total outlay.
He is drawn in the centre of the field and should be finishing on strongly and out wide for Philip Robinson. The fourth event, the middle pin of the Triple Trio, is a much trickier affair as the main chances look as if they are going to be racing on the speed.
The obvious form selection is the Lawrie Fownes-trained Trademark who disputed the lead last time before finishing third to Plentiful Harvest. He is likely to be racing up on the speed again, but Fownes' in-form stable jockey Wendyll Woods is sure to know to get him off the rail down the back straight and out very wide into and down the straight. Luckyfield could be a value banker as he may well get back from barrier eight under Richard So and then run home strongly.
Furioso is a much more confident banker in the sixth event, the final leg of the Triple Trio. He came right back to form when keeping on strongly to run second to Cash Fortune last time and has worked really well since. The move to 1,800 metres should suit Furioso and jockey Patrick Payne has been riding in brilliant form.
Jade Lake has most consistent recent form and is double banker material, while the likes of On The Beat, Golden Prosperity and Consistent Win also merit respect. The front-running Gallant Middy and Most Delighted could be brought undone by the track.