3:20 – Lingfield – FOREST ROW HANDICAP (CLASS 5) (4yo+ 0–75) Standard 7f
Masai Moon who has gained his two all-weather wins on the fibresand at Southwell has put in encouraging runs on his last two starts on the polytrack surface at Kempton and Lingfield.
He runs off an Official Rating of 74 this afternoon and has won off marks as high as 85 on the all-weather in the past. More recently, he won at Fflos Las back in August off a mark of 73 so does not need to find much to be in the shake-up today, if able to bring his turf form to the all-weather.
His trainer, Rod Millman certainly thinks that the nine-year-old bay gelding is back down to a winning mark when he commented on his website after his last ran at Lingfield, that he has struggled with an inflated all-weather handicap mark, but now that he is back down in class with apprentice jockey Pat Millman riding, he should remain competitive in similar events throughout the winter.
Masai Moon has run nine times on the polytrack surface and although he is yet to win he has been placed three times. He has run over today’s trip of 7 furlongs on 39 occasions on both the flat turf and all-weather and has won three times and been placed on a further nine occasions.
His last run at Lingfield was his best run to date on the polytrack when he finished second by 1 ½ lengths to the in-form Kung Hei Fat Choy, who came out and won again at Wolverhampton yesterday. The form of the race is working out quite well with a further winner and a number of placed horses coming out of it. With the fourth placed horse being some 2 ¾ lengths behind, Masai Moon does look capable of winning a race off his current mark on the polytrack.
He is ridden by his trainer’s son Pat Millman this afternoon and Pat rode him for the first time on his last run at Lingfield. As an apprentice jockey he takes a very valuable 7lbs off the back of Masai Moon.
In what is a tight betting affair for a seven runner Class 5 all-weather race, Masai Moon is one of the outsiders at a current price of 11/2. His price takes into account the fact that he is being ridden by a relatively inexperienced jockey and that he has never won on the polytrack and he does face some stiff opposition today.
However, he has shown that he can still be a force now dropped down into Class 5 company and with the form of his last race working out well, does not need to find to much to be a factor today, running off the same handicap mark as his course and distance second last time out.