Hugo Palmer's Arbalet has been something of a talking horse but punters haven't been singing the praises of this son of Dark Angel who has been runner-up on both his starts to date.
Racing in the familiar silks of owner V I Araci, this April foal cost 370,000E.
In truth, Arbalet has been beaten by a couple of fair juveniles. He would have gone very close when favourite on debut at York if not for a very tardy start. The 9/4f ran on with verve but couldn't defy the void losing to International Man by less than two lengths. Richard Fahey's winner looks a real talent.
Arbalet held every chance in his second start at Yarmouth. He was a short priced favourite in the morning, but substantial support came for James Tate's Hey Gaman who went on to trounce Palmer's charge who simply didn't have the pace over 6f. Connections have decided to step up in distance which looks a good move and this must be the best chance he's got of winning. Josephine Gordon takes the ride. I would imagine she will press on and make this a test of stamina after being caught short on his two previous runs losing the race in the early fractions.
Falmouth Light is the main opponent. Mark Johnston's son of Cape Cross won on debut but failed to deliver when favourite at Leicester. Perhaps the win penalty proved too much of a burden. Although he never seemed to be happy that day and was soon in trouble. In what looks a weak contest, punters may feel he is a safe each-way bet.
Barbarianthegate is progressing with racing. His last two efforts at Chelmsford have displayed a gutsy attitude. He may struggle with the likes of Arbalet but likely to lead and probably a safer bet than Falmouth Light to hit the frame.
Conclusion: This looks a fine opportunity for Arbalet to break his duck after two creditable but frustrating defeats. The major problem on those races came from running over an insufficient trip. Connections will be fancying this 7f will tick the winning box. At odds-on punters may well keep their hands in their pockets due to burned fingers. However, this looks as good a chance as he has had. Perhaps backing Falmouth Light or Barbarianthegates each way is a bet to nothing, especially if the favourite has seconditis. Falmouth Light has a win penalty and a poor race last time out to contend. Barbarianthegates in a battling type who will go well but I don't think has the class to frighten the jolly.