Innovation back to form of last season

INNOVATION clearly demonstrated that he is back to his good form of last season with a tremendous late surge to run second to Right Way in yesterday's feature ATV Cup.

The Lawrie Fownes-trained six-year-old has produced his best performances over farther than yesterday's 1,400 metres so he did particularly well to finish second.

Last season, for instance, he was seen to full effect around 1,800 metres - notably when so nearly giving his handler a share of the trainers' title when bursting clear in the last race of the campaign only to be caught close to home by My Home Town.

Interestingly that race was on rain-softened ground and yesterday the sting was also out of the ground.

On that basis it could well be best to watch out for Innovation when there has been a drop of rain.

There can be few quibbles about his handicap mark either. He was competing from a rating of 100 when chasing home My Home Town and will be a few pounds lower than that when next seen out.

Patrick Biancone was beaming after his opening race quinella in which winner, You Bet, looked a horse of outstanding potential, especially when he is pushed up to around a mile next season.

The Frenchman can also take heart in the performance of his Cheer On in yesterday's fifth event won so well by Neville Begg's Auto-Matching.

Cheer On finished strongly for second place and while he was beaten a long way by the winner, he was well clear of Namjong Again who ran third from Illico.

It has been a problem for Biancone to find his correct trip and assess whether he needs to be blinkered or not.

Yesterday's run suggests blinkers on and 1,200 to 1,400 metres should see him at his best.