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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Luna Eclipse looks worth putting in the notebook with improvement likely

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LUNA ECLIPSE appears to be a colt going places judging by his successful handicap debut over mile at Kempton last Monday. Andrew Balding’s colt, who had finished a respectable third behind a couple of nice prospects on his return from a lengthy absence here last month, has stepped up a furlong in each of his first four starts and saw this race out strongly. There is surely more to come.

DARK ALLIANCE was another to be successful over the longest trip he had attempted when taking the handicap over the extended mile at Wolverhampton on Tuesday, making it three wins from his last four starts. Daniel Mark Loughnane’s gelding also saw this new trip out strongly and the Hotlist says that he probably hasn’t finished yet.

DARKEST LIGHT was yet another stepping up in distance when making a successful handicap debut over 7f at Chelmsford on Thursday, although Jamie Osborne’s colt might also have benefited from the wind operation he had undergone since his previous start.

STAR ASCENDING managed to complete the four-timer in the 1m4f handicap at Lingfield on Friday and is a real credit to Jennie Candlish. He was well handicapped, being 3lb lower than for his previous win, but despite this being his 27th all-weather start it was his very first experience of Polytrack, so he still had to prove he could do it on the surface.

JUST THAT LORD seemed to have been found a golden opportunity in the 5f novice event at Wolverhampton on Friday evening, and Michael Attwater’s gelding duly tore his four rivals apart from the front. This was his second start back from a lengthy absence and this success won’t have done his confidence any harm.

MANDALAYAN also did it nicely when taking the mile novice event at Lingfield on Saturday, confirming the promise of his Newbury debut in October. He ought to get further than this on pedigree and Jonathan Portman’s gelding could develop into a nice handicapper.

The 0-105 handicap over a mile later on the card looked a warm race beforehand and, despite little covering the first three at the line, this is form to be positive about. GORING got up in the last stride to complete a course and distance four-timer and Eve Johnson Houghton’s gelding won’t be out of place in the Mile Championship here at Easter.

The Hotlist

Below is a list of horses that within the past couple of weeks have put up a performance that was significantly better than average for the class of race they ran in. These horses are very likely to be able to handle a rise in class, but would be especially interesting if reappearing in the same or lower grade. The higher the figure in the ‘Diff’ column, the greater the performance exceeded the class par.

Name, date, track, distance, class, rating, difference

LUNA ECLIPSE 19FEB KEMPTON 8 5 104 +7
DARK ALLIANCE 20FEB WOLVERHAMPTON 8.6 5 111 +8
DARKEST LIGHT 22FEB CHELMSFORD 7 6 103 +8
STAR ASCENDING 23FEB LINGFIELD 12 6 108 +7
JUST THAT LORD 23FEB WOLVERHAMPTON 5.1 5 112 +9
MANDALAYAN 24FEB LINGFIELD 8 5 107 +10
GORING 24FEB LINGFIELD 8 2 120 +11
MR SCARAMANGA 24FEB LINGFIELD 8 2 120 +11
SEA FOX 24FEB LINGFIELD 8 2 120 +11

Last week’s track biases

The listing below shows, from left to right, the date of the meeting, the name of the track, the number of lengths per mile the surface was speeding the horses up or slowing them down (a minus figure means the track was riding fast, a plus means slow), a going description, and finally the track bias on a scale of 0-100. The higher the figure, the more the surface was favouring front-runners.

Date, track, going & description track bias

19FEB KEMP -2 Standard 45 (OUT)
20FEB WOLV +5 Slow 36
21FEB NEWC +4 Slow 33 (RND)
21FEB NEWC +2 Standard 60 (STR)
21FEB KEMP 0 Standard 53 (OUT)
22FEB SOUT -4 Fast 57 (RND)
22FEB SOUT 0 Standard 67 (STR)
22FEB CHEL 0 Standard 52
23FEB LING +3 Standard 39
23FEB WOLV +7 Slow 56
23FEB DUND +10 Very Slow 60 (RND)
24FEB LING +8 Slow 36
24FEB WOLV +4 Slow 40


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Eve Johnson Houghton’s gelding won’t be out of place in the Mile Championship here at Easter
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