Itlaaq is not the force of old but has become dangerously well-treated and looks capable of running a big race at double figure odds in the 3.00 at Newcastle today.
Mick Easterby’s 12-year-old was last successful in a class 4 contest at Thirsk back in July 2016 where he scored by 1 3/4 lengths off a mark of 77.
He got put up to 82 for that success but is now able to race off just 67.
That is a career-low and gives the veteran major claims at the weights on the pick of his form.
Itlaaq showed that he still retained plenty of abiliuty when runner-up at Pontefract last May off 75 and was also far from disgraced on his penultinate start when third of 19 at Doncaster off 69.
He also shaped a bit better than the bare result last tine out over 2m at Wolverhampton when a never nearer fifth of 12 in a race which wasn’t run to suit.
The drop back to 1m 4f, over which he has notched two of his eight career success, is a plus and with Harrison Shaw in the saddle taking off another 7lb with his claim he is simply too well-treated to ignore in this class 5 contest and should be up to making his presence felt.
Daily Sport recommended bet: 2pts each-way Itlaaq (11/1 Betfred, Paddy Power – BOG)