Flying Dragon to Take Advantage of Class Drop at Chepstow
The Richard Hannon trained Flying Dragon looked a nice prospect when winning a Sandown novice towards the end of last season, and after that was put into listed company where he failed to fire. He began life this season in handicaps, although it was quickly apparent that he was too high in the weights and going up against horses that were simply too good for him. The horse had done nothing wrong in that period, but needed to find his level and last time out I think we saw that.
From his four runs so far this season, his run last time out at Beverley was the only time we have seen him show anything like the kind of ability we saw last season. He finished fourth on that day, three and a half lengths behind the winner. Prior to that he was 10 lengths or more behind the winner on the other three starts, so there is reason to be optimistic here.
That race at Beverley was over one mile and half a furlong, and it showed us that the trip was the minimum he needed. He moves back up in trip today, running over 1m2f and there is reason to hopeful that the step back up to this kind of distance can bring out a little bit more improvement in him.
Due to his rating of 83 at the start of the season, his first three runs were competitive handicaps at Doncaster, Ascot and Goodwood. Not only was the horse badly handicapped but he was also running in some of the best races for the class he was in, against horses who were both better than him and better handicapped than him.
The drop down last time out, both to a track like Beverley, which doesn’t have the same quality of racing as those mentioned before and to Class 5 company seemed to work for him. Today he goes to Chepstow, which some may argue is another step down in terms of the track he is racing on for another Class 5 contest. This race looks to be an easier task than the Beverley race on paper, and I think that is something which Flying Dragon can take advantage of.
This horse has not had the easiest of starts to the season, but I don’t think much of it has been down ton performing poorly. He has been given a chance by the handicapper and that has allowed him to take on rivals of a similar ability and run at the smaller tracks where racing is not as competitive. I think that will be the difference maker here along with the step up in trip and I am expecting to see a big run from him at Chepstow on Thursday.