Sometimes an early feature race win can prove a setback for a horse in that he suddenly gets a merit rating that puts him in a position where he is unable to win a race.
That could well have happened to Eighth Wonder who was pushed up to a rating of 99 following his win in the Grade 3 Cape Classic in 2015.
His only other win came in a Graduation Plate over 1600m in February last year, a race in which he was well treated under the particular conditions. Since then it has been an uphill struggle for the Greg Ennion-trained runner but his merit rating is now down to 82 and he looks ripe to pick up another victory.
The four-year-old son of Captain Al undoubtedly has ability and had he come through the divisions may well have won more races. Tomorrow he lines up in a MR 80 Handicap over 1600m and it looks an ideal vehicle for him to show his ability. His last start was most promising. Ridden by Bernard Fayd’Herbe he contested a MR 82 Handicap over this distance and finished a promising third, beaten just 1.05 lengths by Tender Twilight. Fayd’Herbe retains the ride and the pair are well drawn at No 4 and could provide good value for punters. His main threat could be Earth Hour who two runs back was touched off by talented Kampala Campari in a MR 80 Handicap at Kenilworth. He followed up with a disappointing 3.55-length seventh to Benjan last time out but that was over 1800m and he only faded late.
What is relevant is that three winners came from his penultimate run and two from his last run which indicates both those form lines are quite strong. It could also be significant that they are now running on the Winter Course as Earth Hour’s last victory was on that track with the shorter run in.
Finally, trainer Patrick Kruyer has engaged Greg Cheyne to take the ride for the first time.
Streak Of Silver appears to be better over 1400m but he has placed over this distance and must be included in Trifectas and Quartets. Donovan Dillon takes the ride for the Eric Sands yard.
Dillon also has the ride on Dex Dexter in Race 5, a Maiden Plate over 1600m, and looks the banker on the card. This son of Dynasty ran a 0.60-length third and should be hard to beat over this 1600m.