Sir Maximilian Ready To Rock At The Curragh
Handicap fans will be licking their lips at the sight of the €100,000 Rockingham Handicap over 5f at the Curragh on Sunday (4.45) where a large field of speedsters will hurtle down the straight. The question is: who will get their nose in front?
Recent history of this race shows a good run last time was key, with
…nine of the last 10 winners having made the top six last time, boding well for the English raider, Sir Maximilian…
…beaten under 1l in a stakes race at Hamilton last time.
A 5f handicap winner at Chester in May, this 5yo has the right profile with three career wins, as nine of the last 10 Rockingham winners triumphed three times or more prior to the Curragh. It’s worth noting also, that Brits provided two of the last six Rockingham winners.
Another raider who also scored three times or more is the 5yo, Caspian Prince, who took the valuable “Dash” Handicap from the front at Epsom on Derby Day (5f, good), prior to a sixth (of 17) in another valuable handicap at Musselburgh last month. If he gets an uncontested lead in front, Caspian Prince could take some pegging back.
As for the domestic runners, then Tommy Stack’s Great Minds, arrives with a 2-2 record this season, courtesy of two 6f handicaps here at the Curragh (heavy). This step back to 5f on faster ground will be a different matter, however, especially after a 56-day break.
The 3yo, Kernoff, also won a handicap here last month (5f, good to firm), recording a career best in a fast time, beating Lady Mega by 2l. The only concern is that as a 3yo he may lack the experience in a race like this against seasoned pro’s – the records also favour older runners, as all bar one of the last 10 winners were 5-7yo’s.
While runners lumped with 9st2lb or more have held the edge in this race since 2004, it could be asking a lot for the improving 3yo, Extortionist, to give so much weight away from top-weight of 10st2lb. A Group 3 winner only a fortnight ago, he is the best sprinter in the line-up and is respected.
Not only was a good run last time out a good sign, but also a recent one, with nine Rockingham winners since 2004 having all raced during the last 23 days, pointing up the chances of the 3yo, Green Door, who was just touched off in a 5f handicap at Chester last week (good to firm).
Fellow 3yo, Body Beautiful, also arrives in fine fettle having won a 5f handicap only a few weeks ago (good), and is open to improvement after just five career outings. The 4yo, Yulong Baoju also won a minor race nine days ago (6f, good to firm), and has dropped 5lb in the weights during the last month.
Of the last 10 Rockingham winners…
10 were 12/1 or shorter – 71 others lost
10 had 11 runs or more
9 were sixth or better last time (9%) – others were just 2%
9 had 3 wins or more – 2 wins or less were only 1-70
9 were 5-7yo’s – 3-4yo’s were only 1-69
9 ran in the last 23 days or less (8%) – others were only 3%
7 were 9st2lb or higher (14%) – others were 3%
While there are plenty of 3-4yo’s with improving profiles, 5-7yo’s have dominated this race down the years, and one who should go well from that age bracket is Sir Maximilian.