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Timeform Australia handicapper Adam Blencowe says Saturday's Tancred Stakes "is on for young and old" and he's siding with a perceived non-winner as the yardstick to a collect in the weight-for-age feature.
Blencowe said this year's race is an open renewal where there are many chances declaring "I wouldn't talk anyone out of much" but he believes the Hawkes Racing-trained Angel Of Truth which is 727 days out of the winner's stall – his last win coming in the 2019 Australian Derby – is the horse to beat.
"I'm defaulting to marking him the slight favourite," Blencowe said.
"The knocks on him are convenient narratives.
"I think non-winners is a box we try and stuff too many horses in.
"I think we get into this thing that horses don't want to win and I think 99 per cent of the time that's rubbish.
"Horses are not cognisant of what they are doing. They know that they're running against their mates and competing, blah, blah, blah but they don't know where the winning post is.
"We make that bit up; these are the stories we like to tell ourselves. That's just stuff going on in our heads.
"Think back to last week – Avilius doesn't want to win anymore. If Avilius didn't want to win anymore he wouldn't have run the splits he ran from the 700 to the 200 (metres) and gone past that many horses. He didn't pick them off and then go 'there's the post so I won't pass the last one'. It doesn't make sense.
"I also think the wet tracker tag is a bit unfair on Angel Of Truth as well.
"His runs in Melbourne, his splits in Melbourne were hinting at what he did in the Ranvet.
"They were saying this is a horse going really well for the right scenario and he won a Derby on a seven-day back-up so maybe this is the right scenario."
Blencowe is also using the Angel Of Truth reference to highlight two runners at $15 and $26 which appear to be over the odds if things go to their favour in the run.
"The Chosen One was about as good as Angel Of Truth in Angel Of Truth's Derby and he's done a lot more winning since," he said.
"I think in general he's an underrated horse, a bit better than his reputation.
"This is a stable to find. (Hugh) Bowman is fantastic over a trip and what about this stat.
"Riding for Murray (Baker) and (Andrew) Foresman he is 38 per cent (winners to rides) from 16 rides.
"When you think the only time he rides for the stable is in big races, he's punching them out all right. He's not padding the stats at Canterbury.
"The gate is the query, can he be positive early?
"Miami Bound is the other one. She's probably not going to win but she's got something.
"She was terrific in the Australian Cup and if I'm going to say Angel Of Truth was no better than her there, straight line through those runs -she's got a hope.
"I assume that the Sydney Cup is where they're going for her and I could see they won't ride her here the way I want them to.
"There's going to be no map money, they'll hate her and I could see her 50 to one or bigger.
"She was average last week and has a low percentage racing pattern but at the odds she'll be on Saturday I've had worse bets."
Here's what the astute form student has to say about the favoured runners in the Tancred Stakes and true to his upfront style, Blencowe hasn't held back.
Blencowe says: I have had it in for him because I think and my read of the evidence, at least in Australia, is that he is slow. But I will bow to him having some chance here because he was good last week and I respect the Racing and Sports computer which is trying to tell me he is the bet in the race. In saying that, there is the little devil sitting on my shoulder that has me thinking he needs fences and the firmer track on Saturday won't be to his liking.
Blencowe says: This just doesn't look right to me. She is awkwardly placed at this point in her life trying a mile and a half. My read of her and my read of her figures is that she's a really good miler that gets 2000 (metres) as opposed to being a 2000 metre horse. A mile and a half is a genuine query. If she is to win I think she has to go forward early and hope that she can hum them to sleep then do them with speed. If it turns into a battle of speed, she's faster.
Blencowe says: He might be one of the only horses in the race with his best ratings ahead of him but he needs to find them and he had a pretty good chance to show himself off last time. He was fresh there, fitter, a mile and a half probably suit better, they're positives. I wouldn't talk anyone out of it but at the same time I've got him marked a bigger price.
Blencowe says: From the lead-up she has to be some sort of chance but she looks priced well enough for me. The interesting thing is Melody Belle's two from 13 in Australia and Toffee Tongue is two from 17 in Australia.
Online article taken from racenet.