The new rules regarding handicapping have made it difficult for some trainers to find opportunities for juveniles. Where as you used to be able to get a mark following a win or three runs, it is now two wins or three runs. This means there are many juvenile winners having to carry big weights due to penalties before heading into the nurseries. Romantic Vision had opened his account at Catterick over 5f last time out which meant that if he were to run in another novice race then a penalty would be added to his weight. The Dandy Man colt headed back to Catterick, this time over 6f and duly repeated his winning effort when taking the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes.
On debut Romantic Vision showed his lack of racing experience when racing keenly, then getting caught for room before weakening late on. It was a run that a bit disappointing but easily forgivable and could be left behind. Romantic Vision did just that on his second run. Jumping smarter, he chased the pace throughout the contest, settling nicely before getting up late on. He had shown a far more professional attitude and looked to have won with a little bit in hand. Doing his best work at the end of the 5f trip it gave the impression that a step up in trip would suit and could be done sooner rather than later.
Kevin took the option of returning to Catterick with Romantic Vision having the vital course experience, which can be key around the Yorkshire track. The declarations showed a strong looking race and it would be more difficult for Romantic Vision having to carry a 4lb penalty. With the Ayr Gold Cup being on regular rider Danny Tudhope was required to be there so Sam James deputised. Romantic Vision was one of two winners in the line up yet was seen as a 9-1 shot, showing the depth of the race.
Romantic Vision was quickly into stride leaving the stalls although he did just edge left. Although he bumped into rival Dick Datchery it didn’t knock him off stride which meant the colt could get to the front. Showing good early speed Sam let Romantic Vision use his pace and the pair held the lead after the first furlong. With daylight in front and an advantage of just over a length, Romantic Vision shifted over to the rail as they bared down on the left handed bend. Taking the shortest route Romantic Vision swept around it easily having covered the same ground last time.
The fancied trio were all giving Romantic Vision at least a few lengths lead and Sam was in no mood to give them any leeway. With his mount travelling well and and showing great pace he just allowed Romantic Vision to go on, our ing the contest into a real test. As they rounded the bend the track runs away from the horses which mean the pace continued to increase. Despite setting strong fractions Romantic Vision was travelling well and moved inside the second half of the race with a length advantage before straightening up for home.
Entering the home straight and Romantic Vision had the field on the stretch with the fancied runners coming under pressure to try and close on the leader. Sam was still sitting quietly and suddenly was the last one left on the bridle. Moving towards the 2f marker and it was her that Sam kicked and asked Romantic Vision to go and win the race. The colt put his head down and maintained his advantage. The favourites were beginning to find their stride and began to finish their races off but still had to overturn the deficit to Romantic Vision.
Sam had been driving his mount along but as they went past the final furlong marker he gave Romantic Vision a reminder. This sparked the colt and he quickened up, opening up his advantage once more. Suddenly he kicked 3 lengths clear and the work that the favourites had done was quickly dispelled. Romantic Vision was striding clear and nothing could match him. With the race in the bag Sam could cost in for the final 75 yards, winning by a cosy 2 lengths.
Despite having a win under his belt this was a step up as the form of this race looked a lot stronger. It was also impress Romantic Vision had to carry a penalty, giving 7lb away to the 2nd and 3rd, as they also had the benefit of a claim. The step up in trip really suited Romantic Vision and he saw out every yard. It was great to see him settle throughout the race and he then showed a nice turn of foot when asked to put the race to bed. He is obviously going the right way and there looks to be more to come as he was good for a wider margin. It will be interesting to see what mark he receives as now he is eligible and that will certainly decide where Kevin decides to go next.