Keep an eye on Es Perfecto at Uttoxeter on Saturday
We all need a break sometimes and Raymond Tusk returns from a four-month holiday at Newmarket on 2000 Guineas day, with Alan and The Unlikely Lads, who own the eight-year-old, hoping that it will have him freshened him up.
Raymond Tusk has lost his way in his last five races, the last time he showed any glimpse of the ability that has won him four races being when he ran creditably at Royal Ascot last summer.
The handicapper has been sympathetic and, doubtless, taking his age into consideration, he has dropped Raymond Tusk to a mark of 99, the first time his rating has been below 100 since he belied the odds of 40-1 when finishing second at York’s prestigious May meeting three years ago.
I thought Tuddenham Green looked in good nick coming up the grass gallop on Wednesday – “it’s so great to be back on the turf”, observed Alan – and, having been in good form over hurdles – in the first two in three of his four attempts – Tuddenham Green confirmed he is equally effective on the Flat when finishing second at Nottingham last month. He ought to go well dropping down a grade at Goodwood on Saturday.
Also in action on the Sussex Downs is Sea Squared, who carries the Trueshan colours in the mile and a quarter handicap. He has not set too many rivers alight in three runs so far, but he has been gelded since he last ran at Kempton in November which might bring about a bit of improvement.
Our other Saturday runner is Es Perfecto at Uttoxeter. He, too, has had a winter break, though he had been off 22 months when he made such an eye-catching reappearance over this course in January, in which he finished a pleasing third behind two horses both of whom won next time out.
Es Perfecto has 14 opponents to beat at Uttoxeter, but he was dropped 2lb for his last run which is a bonus, and he is an interesting runner under Tom Bellamy.
Finally, Alan has had the mile and six furlongs handicap at Newmarket on 1000 Guineas day pencilled in for HMS President since he made his debut for Barbury, having been switched from Eve Johnson Houghton’s yard.
HMS President had been off six months and had the coffin-box 14 draw in that Kempton race, so he can be expected to improve for the comeback. Rossa Ryan is due to ride.