|Empire Of Dirt hacked up in the Troytown.|
She blew the start at Chelmsford last time out, and her jockey Milly Naseb still thought it prudent to take another pull in the first 20 yards. She consequently found herself well out the back by the time a furlong had elapsed, and she was still detached by 4L as they rounded the home turn. Naseb went for the brave man’s route up the inner and she was staying on really well, looking like she might grab a place. However, she got chopped off by the horse in front of her and she had to stop riding and snatch Back To Love up. She eventually finished 7th, beaten 6L for the win but only 2L off 3rd.
She was racing off a mark of 46 that day, and she is racing off the same rating at Newcastle (she was dropped to 45 after that run so she is a pound out of the handicap). I believe a mile will suit, both on what she showed last time out and her pedigree. Her sire Street Cry has a 44% strike rate with his runners on artificial surfaces, and a 43% strike rate from 7f-9f. Her half-brother was a Grade 3 winner over 6f on the dirt in the States, and he was beaten just 6L in a Group 1 over 8f.
Ben Curtis has been booked for the ride tomorrow, replacing Naseb, and he is a jockey I have a lot of time for. Hopefully Back To Love is more alert from the stalls tomorrow and gets away on level terms. Her draw in 13 shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance over the straight mile and, on breeding and previous runs, the trip and surface should suit.
Gillard has sent 6 horses on the near 750 mile round trip from Dorset to Newcastle before (including jumpers) and 4 of them have placed. I think Back To Love could be ready to take a big step forward tomorrow and, at odds of 33/1, she is worth chancing each way for small stakes.
STEVOS SELECTION: 4.20 NEWCASTLE-BACK TO LOVE 33/1 E/W