Though he comes with risks attached, I think there could still be more to come from Gifted Ruler as a four year old and the lightly-raced son of Muhaarar is a big price to record a second course win at Haydock this afternoon (1.30pm).
A heavy-ground 6f winner at the course as a two year old, he was limited to just two starts last term, but finished runner-up on the second of them, at Newmarket almost exactly a year ago. He didn’t look in love with the fast ground that day, but was beaten just a short-head by Boccaccio, who had won his previous two and went on to finish runner-up in Listed company three weeks later.
Gelded over the winter, he was a little too keen and looked rusty on his return at York three weeks ago, but he was more than entitled to need that run and now back at the scene of his juvenile success (where his trainer Tom Dascombe has an excellent record) and off a mark 3lbs lower than when runner-up on his second outing last term, I am very hopeful of a much-improved showing. The slower ground is also a positive – it is currently good, but they are forecast rain this morning and it could just end up on the soft side of good.
1.30pm Haydock – 1pt win Gifted Ruler @ 14-1 (all firms, though 16-1 available with Bet365)