In-form John Size goes to Happy Valley tonight with some excellent chances of adding to his great November results and foremost among them is lightly raced Wayfoong Vinnie in the St Andrew’s Challenge Quaich, 1,200m.
Size has already collected 11 victories this month, a good haul in anyone’s terms, and Wayfoong Vinnie (Joao Moreira) certainly looks a worthy favourite to add to that in the night’s feature after a solid Class Four breakthrough last time.
The five-year-old took a little time to get going last season, then appeared to have turned the corner when he was unlucky in April behind Master Viking.
Wayfoong Vinnie over-raced and didn’t finish off when he resumed racing after six months away last month, but he quickly got things back in order in a hard-fought victory over the Valley 1,200m last time under 133 pounds.
Up a class, he drops to the bottom of the weights tonight so Moreira replaces Nash Rawiller but the rise in grade isn’t only offset by the handicaps but it’s hardly the toughest Class Three that Wayfoong Vinnie could run into.
With that in mind, the Class Four form of Wayfoong Vinnie and Sharp Hunter (Douglas Whyte) should measure up to the horses who have been racing well in this grade but must concede them weight.
The race isn’t over-burdened with speed. Under Sam Clipperton, even Extremely Fun didn’t press for the lead last start the way he has most of his career and that paved the way to his win. But he might get the front here without having to work hard so it would be no surprise if he returns to that role, then how the likes of Travel Successor and All Great Friends respond from their wider draws will determine how fast the leader has to go.
From gate two, Wayfoong Vinnie should position straight up on the back of the speed, whatever the pace, and be ideally placed to launch his finish.