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Taunton preview: Elkstone can collect for in-form King

| 10.12.2015

David Metcalf | December 10, 2015

Trainer Alan King has his team in terrific shape, and Elkstone can cash-in on what looks a lenient mark to provide him with another winner in the 2m handicap hurdle on today’s card at Taunton (13.40).

The gelding had some fair form in bumpers and has shaped with plenty of promise in three runs over hurdles without being knocked about.

In the last of those at Kempton, Elkstone caught the eye in no uncertain fashion when staying on from well off the pace under tender handling to finish a never nearer 18 length third of 12 to Rock N Rhythm.

The winner is now rated 131, and Elkstone finished seven lengths in front of the sixth home General Ginger who went on to win his next two starts and is now rated 128.

That is strong form in the context of this contest and makes Elkstone’s opening handicap mark of 107 look on the lenient side.

The four-year-old also remains unexposed and looks to have been brought along steadily with handicaps in mind, and with Wayne Hutchinson in the saddle everything looks in place for Elkstone to open his account.

Pengo’s Boy worth a punt

Sandown Races

Alan King


In the 2m 3f handicap hurdle (14.40), Pengo’s Boy looks potentially thrown-in at the weights and decent value to land the spoils.

The Stuart Kittow trained gelding won on debut in a bumper at this venue, and went on to finish a cracking seventh of 13 to Supasundae in a listed affair at Ascot that has thrown-up a whole host of subsequent winners.

They include the runner-up Yanworth who is now rated 145, and the fifth home Thistlecrack who is now a leading contender for the World Hurdle and rated 161.

Pengo’s Boy has since had three runs over hurdles, and shaped really well in the last of those when keeping on nicely to finish a 10 1/2 length fourth to Modus over 2m 1f at this venue.

The winner is a very highly regarded and exciting prospect rated 134, and the runner-up had previously won twice and is rated 128.

That, along with the bumper run at Ascot, is very strong form and suggests the handicapper has taken a huge chance in allotting Pengo’s Boy an opening handicap mark of just 115.


12.40: Zanstra
13.10: Rock On Oscar
13.40: Elkstone (NAP)
14.10: Spending Time
14.40: Pengo’s Boy (NB)
15.10: Barrakilla
15.40: Drumcliff


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.