One will usually find one or two horses stand out as the best handicapped runners and they often do the job. But there are occasions when a stakes race can totally flummox pundits.
Race 6 at Flamingo Park today, a Pinnacle Stakes 1400m, is one of those cases. Wings Of An Angel is the top-rated runner and is at least 1.5kg better handicapped than her opposition. However, there are two problems. She has not raced for 147 days and the seven-year-old mare has to take on the boys again.
The concern about her break from the track is that her last race, on 17 February over this course and distance, was a shocker. She finished 15 lengths behind Sky Marshal and the fact she has been off for so long, suggests some problem arose during that race.
I run earlier Wings Of An Angel won a Pinnacle Stakes, beating the colts so if fit and well that should not be too much of a concern.
The next best-weighted runner is Kingofthemountain and he could be the answer to the puzzle. His record over the course and distance reads one win and five places from seven starts. His last start was over 1200m at the track and he finished a 0.50-length third behind Taqdeer.
On paper the horse placed second in that race – Sudden Surprise – should have the advantage but he tends to find 1400m a touch out of his reach.
Giant Strides could be next best as he finished fourth behind Taqdeer, beaten 1.25 lengths, but was running on best of all.