Horses To Follow » Melvin The Grate

Melvin The Grate

Melvin The Grate did well to finish second behind Mutasayyid, beaten just a head, in the one-mile handicap at Ayr on Saturday.  Slowly away and in rear through the early stages of the race, Andrew Balding’s horse was keen enough for David Probert behind a sedate pace that Paul Hanagan was ultimately allowed set on Mutasayyid.  Last of the 11 runners as they wheeled around the home turn, Melvin The Grate made nice progress towards the far side early in the home straight.  He moved in behind the leader at the two-furlong pole, and he picked up well once moved to the near side.  He had about 200 yards within which to catch the early leader and, while he closed all the way to the line, he just ran out of time, going down by a head in the end, with clear daylight back to the third horse.

This was a race which was run at a sedate enough pace, so it was not an advantage to be held up.  The winner made all, while the third and fourth horses raced close to the pace.  Melvin The Grate did well to get as close as he did from the rear.

The Danehill Dancer gelding is five now, and he has had plenty of racing, but this was probably a career-best effort from him.  He had run well on his previous run at York to finish fourth behind Chil The Kite, but this was another step up on that, especially given that the race was not run to suit.  A fast-run mile suits him well, and he goes well on good ground, on easy ground and on all-weather.  The handicapper has raised his turf mark 2lb to a mark of 96, which is just 1lb higher than his peak.  He is in the form of his life, and there is a fast-run one-mile handicap in him off this mark.

19th September 2015