Vasco to bounce back on all weather



Rhys Williams has analysed Wednesday’s racing and has one selection at Kempton.

“He looks well handicapped off 75 based on what he achieved on both starts on the all weather in France and he could get a good trip tracking likely front runner Bucephalus.”

Best form has been on an artificial surface

Kempton 19:35: Vasco Da Gama 1pt win 15/2

Horses with good latest runs are at the head of the market for this mile handicap but it’s one who was a well-beaten last on his most recent start who appeals on his return to an artificial surface.

Vasco Da Gama started his career in France with Henri-François Devin and won on his second start at Vichy over a mile. He was well beaten next time on softer ground and was then bought by Gay Kelleway for £13,000.

On his first start for Kelleway on the all weather at Chantilly, he ran a very promising race. He was stuck on the inside rail and got no run until the final furlong. Once in the clear, he finished strongly to take third near the line. The winner won another conditions race at the same track next time while the runner-up won a handicap off the equivalent of 82 two starts later.

Vasco Da Gama ran well again over a mile at the same track on his next start in another conditions race. He got stuck behind a wall of horses in the straight and it was only inside the last furlong that he eventually got a clear run, finishing strongly under hands and heels to finish fifth.

Vasco Da Gama finished last on final start in France for Anne-Sophie Crombez before moving back into Kelleway’s care to race in Britain. He ran well at Windsor when finishing third having not got a clear run. He tracked the leaders on the rail for much of the race and was travelling best with two furlongs to go. However, he couldn’t get a clear run when needed and even late on he was hampered a little, being beaten a length in third.

He ran awfully on his latest start at Newmarket but the ground was softer than ideal for him and the return to an all weather surface tonight can allow him to bounce back to a better level of form. Vasco Da Gama looks well handicapped off 75 based on what he achieved on both starts on the all weather in France and he could get a good trip tracking likely front runner Bucephalus.

It is a bit concerning that he ran quite so badly last time and that he’s put in some shocking performances among the promising ones in the past but it could be that he just needs a quick surface on turf or an artificial surface to show his true ability.

He has shortened in the market which reduces the intended stake but any 6/1 or bigger still appeals.