Twice looks nice for Ivan the champion
By TONY HARBIDGE
PUNTERS' pal Ivan Allan is poised to strike a double blow at tonight's Happy Valley meeting. The champion trainer, so easy to predict last season when he launched an all-out assault on the title, has made a quiet start to this campaign. Surely this is just the lull before the storm, the quiet period before the Singapore Lion roars. His Privilege (Nap) looks an outstanding bet in the penultimate race. Admittedly, he has been napped to win each of his past two starts only to run second and third.
But this is the time to recover losses rather than to lose the faith. It is evident from the times he clocked as a griffin that he is potentially a grade or two above his current Class Four mark. My Topspeed figures suggest he is way above tonight's opposition and those two previous efforts this season should have left him in peak condition. There will be plenty of support for David Oughton's Congratulations who should ensure that Privilege goes off at a backable price.
On his speed figures, it is impossible to get Congratulations into the top three picks, but remember the Topspeed figures are not so hard and fast when it comes to these young, lightly-raced types. A relatively low Topspeed figure for Congratulations does not mean that he is not capable of running one considerably higher, it is just a reflection of the fact that he has not recorded one on his only two starts to date - even when scoring last time out.
On that basis it may be prudent to keep Congratulations safe in quinellas with Privilege as everyone at the track says that the son of Air de France is a decent prospect in the making. But relying purely on my Topspeed figures from last season, it is the consistent Star Mark who emerges as the form danger to Privilege.
He has the figures on the board and time and time again it is this type which runs into the frame rather than the 'talking horses'.
I am also very keen on the chances of Allan's star private purchase griffin from last season, Quick Action (Next Best) in the last race of the evening. Again, his griffin figures point to him being a class performer in the making and he will have derived considerable benefit from his seasonal reappearance second to Dashing. He was on the speed for much of the way in that first-up effort and did really well to stick on for second place when lesser sprinters would have folded. It was a most promising effort and one which had future winner written all over it.
He had Millennium Reigns, Champman River and Classabove all behind him that day and there is no reason why they should be expected to reverse the form. The big quinella chance looks to be Patrick Biancone's King Prawn who, like Quick Action, will have derived considerable benefit from his first run of the season. He put up a smart Topspeed figure when second to Compradore over course and distance last season and is now weighted to reverse the form.