Crucial Appeal ready to strike
CRUCIAL APPEAL appears back to himself at exercise and should defy topweight 57.0 kilos at his favourite trip, 1000 metres straight, in Wednesday's open allowance against six rivals, including former sprint champion POKER STAR and speedy SIR BUDGET.
Last raced on June 7, CRUCIAL APPEAL disappointed as a 4-5 favourite, finishing a well-beaten fourth behind TALENTED TONY K, POKER STAR and Saturday's winner, KING D.
The chestnut gelding was considered a good thing at his pet trip after winning off a three-month lay-up on March 4, beating GARY GLITTER and SIR BUDGET in a fast 56.4 in an overnight allowance. His follow-up races, April 15 and May 10, were also encouraging, albeit on the round course.
On April 15, CRUCIAL APPEAL led but could not hold off GARY GLITTER at 1300 metres in an ambitious attempt to go all the way with topweight 57.0 kilos on his return to open allowance.
In his second run at the level, May 10, CRUCIAL APPEAL lost it at the start, swerving from the gate, but still finished third behind ANOTHER BULLET, who beat CHACE THE GREAT at 1100 metres. Though carrying 56.0 kilos, CRUCIAL APPEAL recovered to finish ahead of TALENTED TONY K, who had carried the field into the lane with 52.0 kilos.
After that race, for which he had exercised brilliantly, a flat five and a half furlongs in 1:06.4, CRUCIAL APPEAL's training went off the rails, which manifested itself in his poor run when he faced TALENTED TONY K on June 7 at 1000 metres straight.
Given a month off by trainer Dwight Chen, CRUCIAL APPEAL zipped 59.0 flat, the first half-mile in 45.4, from the gate on July 5. Chen has not asked the seven-year-old to do much since, but must have been pleased to see his speedster back to his best.
He's not the best drawn at post position one, but it's a small field and the gate will be taken off the rail, giving CRUCIAL APPEAL what amounts to approximately post four.
SIR BUDGET has the best draw, widest at post seven, with 50.0 kilos. However, CRUCIAL APPEAL had outclassed him at similar handicaps the last time they had met at the distance, reporting off a three-month lay-up.
POKER STAR has been nothing but disappointing in his four starts this season, a shadow of himself, especially his last race - fourth behind CHACE THE GREAT, LOTTERY TICKET and PROLIFIC PRINCESS, plus he has 55.5 kilos.
United States-bred CHOO CHOO BLUE reports pretty light in hunt of a third straight win with apprentice Javaniel Patterson, taking her burden down to 49.0 kilos. However, the four-year-old American filly is better on the bends and will find course specialist CRUCIAL APPEAL a tough horse to beat out of the straight.