Dragline set for big run
IAN Parsard's DRAGLINE hasn't raced in three months but has exercised fairly well to beat non-winners of an overnight allowance over his favourite course, five-furlong straight, the ninth of 10 races scheduled this afternoon.
Facing eight rivals, some of whom have not made the frame in their last three races and are reporting similar in the handicaps, DRAGLINE should use his good record over the straight to outsprint his main rivals - LUNAR ROCKET and DANCING QUEEN.
Though LUNAR ROCKET had wired him over five and a half furlongs a year ago, it took her another year to get back to the races, casting doubts on her chances to repeat that feat on her third race back.
To her credit, she showed good speed, going seven and a half furlongs last Saturday but had 110lb and was easily tracked by JAMAI RAJA, who had actually left the gate leading and was merely biding time before going through at the three pole.
DANCING QUEEN has set the exercise track alight, blazing 1:00.3 from the gate on Monday, the first four furlongs in 46.4. However, she has a habit of giving away her races at the start, which she can ill-afford against a course specialist such as DRAGLINE.
Out for the first since finishing down the track behind BILINGUAL, DANCING QUEEN and WONG DON on May 5, DRAGLINE, a half-brother to speedy SIR BUDGET, blew his race by running wide on the turn, and, though rallying in the stretch run, had no chance to recover in an event won in 1:12.3.
Lightly raced for a five-year-old, DRAGLINE has only faced the starter on 16 occasions, a clear sign that he is injury-prone, and, possibly, more so when running the bends. However, he tends to run big races out of the straight as he did in his previous event, carrying topweight 126lb and finishing four lengths behind ARMAGEDDON (115lb) in a tight photo for the minors on April 21.
With the only other genuine sprinter in horse field being LUNAR ROCKET, reporting 10lb heavier than last Saturday, her second race off a one-year break, her speed could collapse inside the final furlong.
At his best, DRAGLINE has proven a better five-straight runner than the horses drawn to his outside - SARAH LEE, KANALOA, CAPTUREMYSHIP, LUCKY STROKE and DANCING QUEEN and LORD EQUUS - Parsard has kept faith with Panamanian Dick Cardenas, who has been aboard DRAGLINE for his last six starts, including consecutive second-place finishes behind LOTTERY TICKET and SIMPLY THE BEST, races won in fast times on the round course.
Parsard's runner showed enough at exercise two Mondays ago, clocking 1:01.1 from the gate, the first four in 47.0, fitted with his regular tongue tie and figure-eight, to suggest that he is well and can return with a bang from off the break.