Irv and Frankelio go head to head in a maximum field of 16 at Thirsk on Saturday, in a 0-75 handicap over a mile. The going at the time of writing is soft, good to soft in places.
It is not often that the word 'eyecatcher' appears in a horses after race comment in the Racing Post, but that was what Irv received after finishing a very unlucky fifth at Pontefract on his seasonal debut 26 days ago. Irv travelled smoothly into the race two out, but repeatably found himself short of room, with Jockey Aiden Brookes having to sit and suffer waiting for a gap to appear.At the line he was only two and a half lengths behind the winner, so you would have to think he would probably have won with a clear run. Irv has form on a good to soft surface, but any more softening of the ground could be a problem. He has drawn wide in stall 13, but with him being a hold up horse, that shouldn't be two much of a problem, Aiden Brookes retains the ride.
We are also represented in the same race by the Frankel gelding Frankelio, who makes his seasonal debut. Frankelio ran the best of his five starts last season first time out in June, when winning at Pontefract, from the same mark he will race off of this time. He ran close to that form on his next two starts, but his form tailed off on his final two runs. The ground shouldn't present any problems, as he has won and been placed on a soft surface when trained in France back in 2018. He has been handed a good draw in stall six, and he will once again be partnered by Graham Lee, who rode him on all occasions last season.
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Good luck to the connections, Irvine Lynch, and Forty Forty Twenty.