Mr Spielberg To Rebound From Derby Defeat

 Jul 31 2016

Mr Spielberg started favourite in the Derby but lost all chance when badly blocked for a run and looks well placed in race three on the card, the War Affair Stakes Open Benchmark 97 over 1600 metres.

Mr Spielberg settled well back in the 16-horse field early in the derby but ran into severe traffic problems on the home bend and well into the straight.

He finally found clear running late in the race and went to the line as well anything for a 2.6 length fourth in an effort that had plenty of merit.

The four year-old takes on older gallopers on Sunday but looks suited in this company after winning a benchmark 89 as his final derby lead-up.

On that occasion Mr Spielberg also found trouble but when he finally found clear running at the 250 metre mark he showed an impressive turn of foot to quickly put the race beyond doubt and dash away to score by 1.8 lengths.

That race was over 1600 metres so the drop back to the mile today holds few concerns and he has won two and placed at one of five runs at the mile.

Mr Spielberg’s derby effort gave him a Timeform rating that gives him an edge on this field on weight-adjusted figures and Glen Boss sticks with him.

One possible danger to Mr Spielberg could be a lack of early pace given his swooping race style with Lim’s Affection one that could capitalise on a steady tempo.

She too had settled back in past outings but showed a different string to her bow last start when she camped on the pace before scoring a strong 1.8 length win at this track and distance.

That was her second win from three tries at the mile and with a second placing at her other attempt she is becoming a specialist at the trip.

That win gave Lim’s Affection her highest Timeform rating for some time and with a handy pull in the weights on all seven of her rivals she could give this a real shake if they let her seize control early.

The form of Nova Strike can’t be faulted as he shoots for the hat trick.

He won at this distance for the first time at his second attempt when landing a benchmark 74 two starts back by a dominant three length margin then successfully took a step up to a benchmark 83 when winning over 1400m by a half length.

That was a breakthrough victory as it was his first on the turf but he had raced well on the surface in good company earlier this campaign, running second in the Group 2 Singapore Classic and fifth in the Group 1 Singapore Guineas over this distance.

He has stretched out his journeys as he has matured and as another capable of pushing forward in the early stages he may find this race run to suit.

Poseidon was outgraded in the Singapore Derby last start but the 2000m trip probably added to his down-the-track performance and he could be an improver back to the mile.

He has yet to win beyond 1400m but has placed at both of his 1600m runs including his previous start when he looked the winner until Mr Spielberg unleashed, eventually finishing a 1.8 length second.

He meets Mr Spielberg 3kg better today and is likely to be ahead of him in the run so could give him something to catch.

Ken Warren

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