Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fullandby Gets Better with Age

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fullandby Gets Better with Age

Article excerpt

Byline: By Doug Moscrop

Etherington hope can solve Ascot puzzle

AS IF a 20-runner handicap wasn't a big enough puzzle for punters to solve, much will depend on the draw for today's Victoria Cup at Ascot.

In the first running of the race last year at the redesigned track, the entire field came over to the stands' side and a bias appeared to favour low numbers during the summer.

However, on easier ground in the autumn, the first five home for another totesport-sponsored prize were drawn high and raced on the far side, and I am hoping that will be the place to be for this valuable seven-furlong event.

Three of the last five Victoria Cup winners have been trained in the North and there is every chance of the trend continuing with Fullandby, the apple of Tim Etherington's eye at his small Malton stable.

While the five-year-old gained his first success over this trip on the all-weather, all his subsequent four victories on turf have been at six furlongs on ground ranging from good to firm to heavy. His trainer, though, feels that he is just as effective over an extra furlong.

Etherington also believes that the gelding is improving with age, enough to land a big pot like this.

Two decent efforts this term has resulted in the handicapper dropping him a couple of pounds and he is now on the same mark off which he finished a solid second to All Ivory over the course and distance in September.

At his best in a strongly-run race when hold-up tactics are most effective, Fullandby shaped well on his seasonal debut over an inadequate five furlongs at Beverley despite not having an ideal draw and looking as though the race would bring him on.

The ground was also quicker than he prefers on that occasion, as was the case on his latest appearance at Newmarket when he ran much better than his final placing suggests and it looked as though a return to this slightly longer trip would suit. …

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