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There will be Blood

3 minute read

Form is temporary, class is permanent.

Daily Telegraph, published Friday 30th October 2020, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 100.
Daily Telegraph, published Friday 30th October 2020, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 100.

Rating guru Gary Crispe could be adopting this mantra after predicting Alligator Blood and Funstar will fight out the finish of the $7.5 million Iron Jack Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Crispe said Alligator Blood, who boasts a lofty Timeform rating of 123, and Funstar 117 haven't been able to return to those peak performances this spring but he anticipates the outstanding duo are poised to return to their best in the Golden Eagle.

"Alligator Blood has always been set for this and after closing off well fresh over an unsuitable trip, he improved to run 118 in the Silver Eagle when second to Flit last start," Racing And Sports' Crispe said.

"He never really looked entirely comfortable in that event, but in the end was only narrowly beaten. A winner of nine of his 14 starts, he has only missed the money once in his career when failing as favourite in the All-Star Mile. Apart from the unplaced run, he has been a model of consistency, at a level which leaves him well placed in the Golden Eagle. The step up to 1500m should suit and he should be right at his peak third-up from a spell."

Crispe conceded the big question is whether Alligator Blood can handle the expected heavy track conditions at Rosehill. The track was rated a heavy 9 late on Thursday.

"He has only seen a rain-affected track once, which came when leading throughout in the CS Hayes Stakes," Crispe said.

"While it was raining during the race, it was far from a wet-track and it remains up in the air whether he will handle it Conversely, the wide draw looks a plus as it should keep him out of trouble and out onto the fresh ground. At his peak he looks to hold an edge on his rivals and if he runs up to that level on Saturday, he is the one to beat."

Funstar is among four Golden Eagle runners to have won at Group 1 level - the others being Alligator Blood, Colette and Flit. The Chris Waller-trained Funstar has only won once since taking out the flight Stakes last year but she does get preferred wet track conditions on Saturday.

"Funstar brings arguably the best form, too," Crispe said.

"While no match for her sparring partner Probabeel in the Epsom, her effort to finish second was still very good and leaves her well placed for the Golden Eagle.

"She has been given almost the same preparation as stable-mate Kolding last year who won the Epsom Handicap-Golden Eagle double. I like the fact Chris has kept this mare fresh with 28 days between runs and a soft trial in between. Her wide draw results in us getting a better price and with a bit of luck early she is sure to make her presence felt."

Crispe used his exclusive Timeform ratings to declare Perth raider Superstorm as one of the hardest to beat. The Grant and Alana Williams-trained Superstorm has had a luckless preparation in Melbourne this spring but Crispe has added he has the talent to be right in the finish.

"Superstorm's rated 119 by Timeform, his form ties in well with Alligator Blood and he showed he was back on track last start when third in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap," Crispe said.

"He's never been tested on a heavy track, however being by Sebring, you'd be surprised if he didn't handle it. The wide draw sees him get a fair way back, but he should be very strong late."

Crispe felt Colette's chances would be enhanced by a very heavy track as he described the mare as an "absolute duck"

Article taken from Daily Telegraph, published Friday 30th October 2020, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 100.

Racing and Sports