Don Poli has his first run for Gordon Elliott tomorrow. He’s in the JN wine Chase at Down Royal (2.35) and I’ve backed him at 5/1. On recent form he’ll struggle, but I’m hoping they change tactics. Branded a thorough stayer, he’s usually switched off in the hope he can come late and pick up the pieces.
But the horse has some speed in him too. He won the Martin Pipe at the 2014 Festival over 20 furlongs having been, according to his jockey, ‘flat out for the first mile and a half’. And perhaps that’s what Don Poli needs. He’s a lazy big sod and if he was a human and he worked for you, you wouldn’t be saying at the start of his shift, ‘Hey, Don, just take it easy. Have a nap in your chair, have some coffee and cake. When there’s two minutes left of your shift we’ll roust you out with a whip and you can get everything done then.’
No, you’d keep on top of big Don all day to get him doing what he needs to. If Barry Geraghty does that tomorrow, we might see a different horse (and we might not, but I think it’s worth a try). If my theory is correct, then 85 on Betfair for the King George will look a very big price indeed. If I’m wrong, well…it’s up to you if you think the price merits the risk. I’ve taken some.