Keep an eye on Big Country
17 July 2017
I interviewed Rebecca Bastiman on Racing UK ahead of Edgar Allan Poe's success under a penalty in the 1m handicap at Pontefract on Tuesday.
The Wetherby-based trainer said: “There’s much more improvement in him, especially on good ground.”
Daniel Tudhope set the trend of heading to the favoured stands' rail in rain-softened conditions much earlier on the card and the Scotsman did the same here.
Always prominent with market rival Golconda Prince, the three-year-old was ridden to lead over a furlong out and found plenty for pressure to run on well.
Formerly a Ballydoyle inmate, this gelded son of Zoffany has progressed with experience and can win again.
Olivia Fallow blew the start in the 5f handicap at Carlisle on Thursday but remains well handicapped.
As the stalls opened, the filly missed a beat and the problem was exacerbated as the first part of the race was downhill.
She never looked likely to close the gap on the leaders but connections thought she could win had the leaders gone too quickly.
That did not happen, so with a slow start and racing in rear the five-year-old did not enjoy the run of the race. Ridden over a furlong from home, she stayed on at the same pace but deserves more chances.
Big Country ran a cracker when putting in good late work in the fiercely competitive John Smith's Cup at York on Saturday.
Ballet Concerto won the race but gained first run on the notebook horse, having run well in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.
Ray Dawson deserves plenty of credit for his ride on the runner-up, who made headway two out having raced in touch on the inner in the early stages.
The pace had been slow, so Big Country did well to close on the leaders, and clearly benefited from this return to 1m2f after his defeat in the Old Newton Cup.