thetopfive

Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* Top 5 – Notes Before Cross Country

Harbour Pilot – currently 3rd (41.4) – on course at 13.36pm 

Harbour Pilot is third out on course with Hannah Sue Burnett (13.36 local time). This pair could guarantee themselves a top three finish and will give the best early indication on the time. From this field, only Indian Mill (Philip Dutton) sits ahead of Harbour Pilot on EquiRatings TSR (Top Speed Ratings). Use this time as the benchmark for the others.

Fernhill By Night – currently leading (34.0) – on course at 14.30pm 

The leader, Liz Halliday Sharp and Fernhill By Night, go at 14.30pm local. They have 16 seconds in hand but the test for them is all going to be about their jumping. If they follow up on their recent Blenheim performance in the same style, it should not be a problem. Earlier in the season however, we did 20s at both Carolina and Pine Top and they were eliminated at Kentucky. A round to watch. Will be see a personal best finishing score at the level for them? Their previous best was 47.3 at Hartpury in 2015.

Cooley Dream – currently 2nd (40.5) – on course at 14.57pm

Hannah Sue Burnett will have a second bullet to fire at 2.57pm with the horse currently in second place – Cooley Dream. Again, it is also going to come down to jumping – she will know by that stage what has happened to Liz and if the win is within her reach or not. Cooley Dream has had two internationals at 3* level in his last 6 outings and not made it home. Their form at the lower levels has been good. HSB will be happy with a clear jumping round and the rest will be a bonus.

Houdini – currently 4th (44.1) – on course at 15.00pm

Katie Ruppel and Houdini are one of only two horses to have faced the track on a previous occasion (Joe Meyer & Clip Clop the other). They were clear last time! This will be Katie’s 20th CIC3* competition. One of their top-rated performances ever came last time out at Richland where they were clear inside the time but before that we saw Houdini have jumping faults at Lexington and with Clayton Fredericks at CIC3* in 2017. Like Liz, she will be hoping that the result last time out can be repeated.

Z – currently 5th (45.1) – on course at 14.21pm

All of this eggshell form means that the old master Phillip Dutton is still in with a big shout. We will see him at 2.21pm local time on Z. He will already have been once around the track by that stage. Z has a 100% jumping record at CIC3* but has never made the time. They did however make the time in the CCI3 at Tattersalls earlier this season. Reliable, we expect Phillip makes the podium. Easy to see a couple of mistakes in front of him but will be hard for him to pass all four.

Cambalda – currently 10th (50.6) – on course at 14.51pm

Jennie Brannigan has a 100% Clear Cross Country Jumping record in 2017, 24 internationals, 24 clears. She is going for number 25 on Cambalda. He is responsible for 5 of those clear already in 2017. It might be too far back to win but they will almost certainly climb from 10th. The question will be to see how high. That stadium pole could prove costly.

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