Stoic can rise to occasion

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 January, 2000, 12:00am

Stoic can run out an extremely apt winner for jockey Wendyll Woods in the fourth event on this evening's tricky Happy Valley card, where punters must look out for any inside or front-running bias.

The popular Woods has had to play the stoic over a couple of careless riding suspensions.

Now he gets to ride Stoic who looks to have outstanding form claims in this Class Four mile event.

The son of Barathea loves the tight city circuit and that is a big plus factor as so many horses are either not acting on the track these days or are being beaten by the bias.

Stoic is a very nippy individual and goes round the Valley like a greyhound.

Last time out, though, he was desperately unlucky in running when only just failing to peg back Braveheart.

Stoic was checked and then pocketed and Woods was forced to switch out and lose ground in the straight.

It was that or lose even more ground waiting for a run to come, if it were ever going to. It was just one of those unfortunate things that happen at the Valley.

The result is that Stoic has gone up three pounds for his head second to Braveheart yet in reality he's a winner without a penalty as with normal luck in running, he would have won the race.

Since then trainer Lawrie Fownes, who has his team in terrific form, has given Stoic a break and freshened him up.

Stoic doesn't have a lot of physical presence about himself and he seems to have benefited from the break as his work going into tonight's contest has been most pleasing.

He's bounced through his gallops and has looked bright and perhaps carrying a bit more condition than at any stage of his embryonic career.

He's also improving from race to race and when he ran second last time clocked a Topspeed figure better than any of his rivals have achieved throughout their careers.

He may also be around the 4-1 mark tonight due to that slight break in racing and the presence of Century Horse.

Century Horse is going to be tough to beat and himself clocked a Topspeed figure only a length slower than Stoic's best time when chasing home No Money No Honey over the Valley's 1,200 metres.

The step up in trip should suit Century Horse who is a must quinella leg.

Harmony Prince appears to be coming back to himself and is worth including as he likes the Valley mile.

Arrectis Auribus would have loved the recent rain and is competitive in Class Four.

Watch out, too, for an improved effort from Typhoon who showed signs of a return to form last time and should like the drop in grade.

Express Lot ran better than it appeared on the dirt last time in a race where it was hard to make ground. Any more rain would suit him, too.

Elsewhere on the card, Charming Dragon should like the Class Five company and the 1,000-metre trip in the opener.

New Dynasty and Concert Star are two youngsters going places.

They will be short prices to win their respective events, the Stock Exchange Challenge Cup and the seventh and final event, but they are very hard to oppose given the demolition jobs they dished out to their rivals last time.