Past Winners » Idler


I think that Idler is over-priced here at 12/1, and he is well worth backing at that.

Mark Johnston’s gelding can be a little hit and miss, but his two recent disappointing runs have been on soft ground at Catterick and Chester, both tight tracks. He appears to be much more at home on a galloping track and on good or fast ground, which isn’t altogether surprising, given that he is by Exceed And Excel.

His most recent run last Saturday, when he won a six-furlong handicap at today’s track, was probably the best performance of his career. He led early on that day, but was caught and probably just passed by the useful Cheworee inside the final furlong, so there was a lot to like about the manner in which he battled back to get up and win by a head.

He races off a 5lb higher mark today, but he is progressive enough to take that type of hike in his stride. Also, his racing style suggests that the step up to seven furlongs should bring about even further improvement, as evidenced also by the manner in which he stayed on well to land a seven-furlong contest at Kempton three weeks ago.

Front-runners appeared to have been favoured at Newmarket yesterday and on Thursday and, as long as Idler isn’t forced to go too fast in front, he could take a lot of catching. He is tough, so even if he is pressed late on, there is every chance that he will dig deep, as a lot of the Mark Johnston horses do.

Of course, Cape Classic is going to be tough to beat, he was impressive in beating Ayr Silver Cup runner-up Highland Colori and Johnny Castle at Doncaster two weeks ago. However, he has to step up another half a furlong in trip, which isn’t guaranteed to suit him. On top of that, he is 8lb higher today than he was then, and he is very short. He is not invincible.

IDLER WON (ADV 12/1, SP 10/1)