Midweek gift for Ian Links
IAN LINKS has been handed the City of Kingston Centenary Cup on a platter, a $550,000 claiming event open to four-year-olds, non-winners-of-four and running without claim tags.
It was two Saturdays ago that IAN LINKS beat a decent field of non-winners-of-three at a mile, including the speedy filly BIRD CATCHER, by three-and-a-half lengths in 1:40.3, running on from off the pace with Omar Walker.
Returning at the exact distance in a weaker line-up, IAN LINKS should confirm his preference for middle distances since stretched out by Wayne DaCosta in his last three races. IAN LINKS has revelled in the slower pace, disqualified then reinstated on appeal after a 1500-metre win over MY COMPANION on December 10.
He returned up in class to place third behind ANOTHER FURY and DANCING QUEEN at 1400 metres on Boxing Day, a race run in 1:25.4, before handing DaCosta his 1999th career winner in his second start among non-winners-of-three on January 14.
UNBREAKABLE and BRAVE PROSPECT are tough top-level claimers but they're up against a four-year-old, who has found his range and should use fitness and youth to overcome his older rivals.
Expect DR BANNER, the other four-year-old in the event, to make a bold attempt from in front. However, with 56.0 kilos, he won't get the trip but will provide good company for BRAVE PROSPECT and UNBREAKABLE for IAN LINKS to pounce.