Trainer Richard Gibson’s resurgence has been a highlight of the past two months and Litterateur can keep the roll going in the Sauternes Cup (1,650m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
At one point in the season, you’d have got triple-figure odds about Gibson being able to meet the Jockey Club’s benchmark performance criteria of 16 wins (if anyone was offering odds on such a thing) but with 13 on the board and a range of horses from the yard looking dangerous, that looks assured now.
Litterateur (Zac Purton) has already played a part, saluting over the same track and distance last start but his winning run certainly isn’t done and things set up nicely for him to repeat the dose.
Litterateur arrived this season on a rating of 83, thanks to three victories in France but particularly his Listed win over 1,800m at Clairefontaine. While the horses he beat have not set the world on fire, second and third did each convincingly win Listed races themselves at their next run, so the form had merit.
He also finished second to King Genki in a race there and, like that horse, found the switch from soft going and fibresand tracks in France to the firm surfaces here no easy task.
As a result, it took time – nine starts and a drop to a 67 rating – before Litterateur was able to get his act together and win but he did the job in fine style.
In a race tempo that was not particularly “finisher friendly”, Litterateur reeled off a 22.10-second final 400m to score after standing the leaders up almost seven lengths.
That’s the kind of performance which is going to win most Class Threes at the Valley and will take him a long way in the next grade up too.
From a better draw, Litterateur may lay up a little closer than last without having to spend anything to be there and his finishing speed will take care of the rest.