Mildenberger to Defy Handicap Top Weight on Return at Epsom
Despite an absence that stretches back nearly a year, I fancy Mildenberger to get his head in front at Epsom on Wednesday for Northern trainer Mark Johnston. The horse is now a four year old, but has had just seven runs so far, winning four of them and finishing behind top quality horses in the three defeats he has suffered. This horse has to carry top weight, which will be a challenge, but there is no doubt that he is a group quality horse, and I fancy him to put this bunch of handicappers to the sword and win on his return.
The horse has some rock solid winning form to his name, including two wins at listed level but it is probably his runs in defeat that really catch the eye and show off his potential. The last time we saw him, he was finishing second in a Group Two to Roaring Lion, a horse who went on and showed us that he really was top class. That was the second time Mildenberger had finished close behind Roaring Lion showing it was no fluke. The other horse to beat Mildenberger was Expert Eye, another top quality horse who is firmly a group runner.
All of this points to Mildenberger being able to go better than the handicappers he goes against in the 3:55 at Epsom, even though he is rated 107 so has to carry a lot of weight. I think it is interesting that Mark Johnston sends him down to Epsom for this race instead of attempting to win a listed or minor group race, he has clearly seen an opportunity he likes. As a front runner, the course certainly suits him and I am expecting to see him out in front, making himself very difficult to beat.
I don’t think anything gets to him in this one, and I rate Mildenberger as the best bet on the Epsom card.