Edwardstone v Third Time Lucki: Coaches’ views and Kingmaker clash preview | Horse racing news

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The Irish deployed their heavy artillery at the Dublin Racing Festival in Leopardstown last week and it was an impressive show of force, but the two horses who battled for the finish of the Irish Arkle, Blue Lord and Rivière D’Etel , will not have had the British trembling in their boots.

With Ferny Hollow out for the season and Galopin Des Champs and Bob Olinger likely to compete more, it’s the Brits who have the biggest armament in the novice two-mile pursuit division and the team’s two heaviest hitters at home will fight in this Grade 2 .

Edwardstone is the highest-rated two-mile novice on either side of the Irish Sea, with an RPR of 164, and he has reached that figure in his last two starts. At the first opportunity he beat Third Time Lucki by 16 lengths at Sandown, but that rival is back for more.

This should be a fascinating rematch as Third Time Lucky definitely went too fast in the Sandown contest. Course Track sections posted on RacingTV.com show that Third Time Lucki finished this race more than six percent slower than his average race pace.

In contrast, Edwardstone got a better ride and finished just 1.5% slower than his average race speed. So while the optics made it look like Edwardstone was finishing strong, the Times suggest it was just an illusion caused by his rivals slowing behind him.

That fact wasn’t lost on Harry and Dan Skelton because they changed tactics on Third Time Lucki at Doncaster last time out and rode him more restrained, letting the For Pleasure detachable clear ahead, and Third Time Lucki didn’t come out of the bridle, winning easily.

For Pleasure opposes here, with another favorite in Brave Seasca, and their presence could help Third Time Lucki, who should be well towed in the race behind.

So this contest looks set to be run in a completely different way than Sandown and Third Time Lucki is unlikely to be a sitting duck for Edwardstone here. In fact, Third Time Lucky can even track down Edwardstone this time and try to give him a dose of his own medicine.

It’s hard to predict if it will work out, but there probably won’t be 16 lengths between them and hopefully the two will come out without any battle scars and ready to shoot next month.
Race analysis by Graeme Rodway

“I want it to be perfect for March” – Edwardstone has Arkle in sight

Last week’s Dublin Racing Festival launched a bevy of Cheltenham pointers but Arkle’s image remains confusing and it’s now up to Britain’s leading prospect Edwardstone to ‘speak’ according to coach Alan King.

He faces a tough test in this pre-festival race as he crosses swords with Third Time Lucki again, after coming out on top when the pair clashed in the pursuit of Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices at Sandown in December.

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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Edwardstone: three out of five over the fences

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Edwardstone followed up that success with an equally elegant victory in the Year 2 Wayward Lad at Kempton and King is eager to see his stable’s main festival hope back in action, although he insists this race ultimately serves preparation for next month’s more enticing goal.

“I don’t want to say too much, I prefer to let him do the talking,” King said.

“This race is not the be-all and end-all and I want him there for March. We have a bit of work left to do, so we’ll see what happens.

“Looks like a good race, but it has a right to be. He’s doing well and we’ve given him some breathing room from Kempton. This race was always planned as hopefully his warm-up for Cheltenham.”

Dan Skelton relishes a second crack at Edwardstone and thinks the ground will be in favor of Third Time Lucki this time.

The softer ground was an excuse for Third Time Lucki as he was 16 lengths behind at Sandown and he has since recorded an easy win in the Grade 2 Lightning Novices’ Chase from Doncaster.

Harry Trump (Getty Images)

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Dan Skelton: ready for a revenge

Dan Skelton: ready for a revenge

Harry Trump (Getty Images)

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