CRUCIAL APPEAL showed an interesting side of himself at last, at the ripe age of eight years old, running on strongly inside the last furlong to get within a head of shock winner BIMINI at five furlongs round on July 7.
Partnered by leading rider, apprentice Anthony Thomas, CRUCIAL APPEAL literally lost the race by one hop, closing from six lengths off a furlong out, not the normal position for the chestnut gelding, who has on occasions threatened the five-furlong straight track record.
Apparently pleased with what he saw two Saturdays ago, new trainer Alford Brown has been emboldened to try CRUCIAL APPEAL at six and a half furlongs in Wednesday's overnight allowance, keeping Thomas astride, while hoping for a similar performance.
In his narrow loss to BIMINI, CRUCIAL APPEAL sat off the pace while SIR BUDGET and POLLY B went at it on the lead, emerging best from the chasing pack a half-furlong out but not soon enough to tag the winner.
SIR BUDGET is back for Wednesday's race and will more than likely dominate the pace upfront, stalked by possibly LIGHTNING LILY and DANCING QUEEN, both of whom are really light at 110 and 111lb, respectively.
SIR BUDGET is heavy at 121lb and will be hard pressed to see out the trip with lighter horses keeping him honest from the get-go, plus SOY EL SENOR, possibly the most dangerous runner in the line-up, closing from off the pace.
CRUCIAL APPEAL, however, stands a grand chance of pulling off a victory, even at 121lb. Already blessed with speed, which makes him faster than SOY EL SENOR, who will be burdened with top weight 126lb, CRUCIAL APPEAL can get first run on his middle-distance rival and use class to get home with Thomas.
Though he hasn't won on the round course in a while, CRUCIAL APPEAL's six-furlong effort in the grade one Lady Geeta Trophy suggests the ageing warrior might have lost his tearaway speed but not class.
Racing against the top grade one sprinters in April's Lady Geeta, CRUCIAL APPEAL ran an even race for fourth, beaten by SIEMPRE BUENO, CHACE THE GREAT and MONEY MAGNET, who only had a length on him in third place.
CRUCIAL APPEAL's following race was against MR UNIVERSE, who blazed 58.1 for five furlongs straight, which he was three and a quarter lengths behind, before he returned and just failed to catch BIMINI on the round course.
It should be noted that Saturday's five-furlong straight Reggae Trophy for grade one horses was won by CHACE THE GREAT, closing to beat SIEMPRE BUENO and MONEY MAGNET, the trio which CRUCIAL APPEAL was a little under four lengths behind at six furlongs in April's Lady Geeta.