John Sadler can’t understand the conditions which have resulted in his sprinter Sartorial Splendor being top weight in the Carlyon Stakes but he hopes he can overcome the disadvantage and win the race.
Sartorial Splendor has 58.5kg in the set weights and penalties 1000 metre event at The Valley on Saturday.
Sadler pointed out that Sartorial Splendor is an 80-rated horse and has to give weight to Coruscate, who has a rating of 104 and will carry 58kg, and Prezado who is rated 103 but will carry 57kg.
“I just don’t understand why it isn’t a normal handicap. That would make a lot more sense,” Sadler said.
Sadler said despite this he had to run Sartorial Splendor in the Carlyon Stakes as he had no other option.
“I’m also not saying he can’t win. Weights don’t come into play as much in short-course races but the history of horse racing says it’s a hard factor to beat,” he said.
“He loves the Valley and he hasn’t run for four weeks. Maybe I should have run him in a benchmark 78 last Friday there, but he would have had to carry 62 kilos.”
Sadler said the key to Sartorial Splendor’s chances would be how many horses wanted to take him on for the lead.
“If he gets his own way up front then he’s hard to beat. If others take him on, they are ruining his chances and theirs,” he said.
Sartorial Splendor resumed from a spell with an all-the-way win at The Valley over 955 metres which was his first run as a gelding.
“Since he’s been gelded I think that’s made all the difference to him. He’s now a genuine racehorse,” Sadler said.
Before Sartorial Splendour had his first start, Sadler said he was the best galloper he had trained but the horseman added the statement needed to be put into context.
“In terms of how fast he goes and the way he gallops he is, but he’s not even in the best 20 racehorses I’ve trained,” Sadler said.
“Maybe if he can learn to relax he might get into that group but he’s got a lot to learn.”
The four-year-old by Brazen Beau has had three starts at The Valley for two firsts and a third and will be ridden by Michael Dee, who partnered him to his first up victory.