West Sussex handler Amanda Perrett seems happy with her son of Sea The Stars
Amanda Perrett doesn’t send many horses up to Pontefract from her West Sussex base and ASTRONEREUS, her sole runner at the Yorkshire track, should make the long journey worthwhile in this afternoon’s 1m2f handicap (due off 4.00pm).
The four-year-old has been keeping good company since winning his maiden at Newmarket last July and came within a whisker of landing a valuable handicap at Ascot on Shergar Cup day. He rounded off the season by finishing fourth (of 18) behind Battersea in a Heritage Handicap, again, at Ascot, and this son of Sea The Stars should have more improvement in him this season.
Obviously you are guessing over his fitness at this early stage of the season but the latest betting seems to suggest he’s ready to do himself justice and the trainer, who has had a winner and a second from just seven runners in the last fortnight, is also sounding positive about his chances, saying: “He’s wintered well and has progressed nicely. Any ease in the ground will be to his liking [good to soft] and he’s working well at home. He was unraced as a two-year-old – a lot of the Sea The Stars are a little early backward early – and were hopeful he can progress further this season.”
The 6f handicap on the card (3.00pm) looks trappy and it could pay to look beyond the market leaders with BUCCANEERS VAULT appearing overpriced at 14/1. Apart from Little Palver, who is fit from the all-weather, all the runners are having their first run back and the selection could have an advantage in that he has already shown he can go well fresh, when winning a 5f maiden auction at Beverley on his seasonal debut last season.
He continued to run well after that, including when finishing a good third in a conditions stakes over track and trip, and his trainer Michael Dodds considered him good enough to run in valuable sales race at the Curragh last September. He cut little ice there and on his final start in the Listed Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar, but he’s been gelded since and starts this term on a mark of just 79, which is 6lb lower than his career high mark.
Pontefract is a turning track and a low draw is a big advantage in sprints in particular, so the selection is very well berthed in stall two. It also doesn’t hurt his chances that he appeared to stay 7f well last season as there is a stiff uphill finish and that puts the emphasis more on stamina. All in all, he looks to have plenty going for him and not least his price.