Talented but testy, the Tara Laing-trained gelding has long been master of his own fate. He does not like to go into the starting stalls and but once he has been sent home, the son of National Emblem is at his best when allowed to bowl along in front.
That is one of the reasons he seems to have taken so well to the Polytrack as it and has established a record of one win and two places from his four outings on the course. His one unplaced run was over 1800m and he probably found that a touch too far.
His one victory since arriving in Port Elizabeth was over 1600m and on that occasion Principled was ridden by Greg Cheyne. Laing has engaged Cheyne to ride the five-year-old and that could work in his favour. They will jump from barrier No 8.
It is worth noting, however, stable jockey Raymond Danielson is aboard Sir Duke who was the runner touched off by Principled on that occasion. Sir Duke will be better suited to this 1400m but he is 1kg worse off and that could count against him.
An interesting runner is Chestnut’s Rocket, who has run well on turf but is unproven on the Polytrack. The Vaughan Marshall-trained runner has scored some superb victories in strong company and has raced against some of the best horses in the country. He has won over 1400m on the Fairview turf, beating Glenton by 6.50 lengths.
If fit and well in his second run after a rest and should he take to the course, the son of Horse Chestnut could be hard beat. He needs to be included in all exotic bets.