3:00 – Carlisle – FLAT SERIES QUALIFIER) (CLASS 5) (3yo 0–70) Soft 5f 193y
With the ground riding soft and more rain forecast the 3 furlong climb up the course towards the finish at Carlisle will take some getting this afternoon.
Star City is a potentially interesting runner in the 3:00 race as he has twice finished second on the Cumbrian course and, with winning form in the going over 7 furlongs, could pick up some of the more speedy sprinters as they tire up the hill as his stamina kicks in.
Star City ran on this card last year when he finished second in a 6 furlong Maiden race and although the winner got the jump on the field 2 furlongs out he did stay on well to finish just 1 length behind him and appeared to see out the trip well enough on this stiff course.
He is by Elusive City who boats a 32% winning strike rate for winners to runners over 5 and 6 furlongs and the statistics on his dam’s side are almost as good so he is bred to get the trip. He has run at Carlisle twice with both runs came over 6 furlongs. He has finished second on both runs here last season and having strengthened up over the past 12 months will be better equipped to get the trip now.
He has run in Soft ground twice with his most recent run in the going at Catterick being his best as he was able to win for the first time. He has an eye shield and blinkers fitted for the first time, which was three runs back and despite being headed inside the last furlong he battled on well to get back up and break his maiden. He has worn the same headgear on his last two starts and wears it again today. He ran a decent race at Ayr two starts back but was slightly disappointing at Thirsk last time when he was allowed to lead before being headed 2 furlongs out to finish in fifth place.
He was ridden by Tom Eaves at Thirsk, but he has Paul Mulrennan riding again today. Paul rode him on his previous three starts when he finished third, first and third so appears to get the best out of Star City.
Star City runs off a Handicap Mark of 64 this afternoon which is the same mark he won off at Catterick. He will no doubt be racing prominently and with his proven stamina in soft ground and his ability to stay 7 furlongs he could have the right combination for the conditions at Carlisle today. As mentioned earlier the 6 furlongs up the hill in soft ground will take some getting and could well be riding more like 7 furlongs, so it is hoped that Star City can take advantage of tiring horses towards the end of the race.