The fact that Mark Johnston’s stable jockey Joe Fanning heads to Carlisle on Thursday for just one ride for the Middleham Moor trainer suggests that Highly Sprung is likely to be thereabouts in the Bookies.com Median Auction Stakes (2.30) and the hint is worth taking. The Zebedee colt ran his best race so far when failing by 1¼ lengths to withhold the challenge of Fast And Furious in a Class 5 maiden, over 6 furlongs, at Hamilton nine days ago. Fast And Furious had previously finished second in a Class 3 maiden at York, the form of which has been franked by the third, fourth and fifth, so it starts to become clearer why Joe Fanning is so keen on riding Highly Sprung.
Highly Sprung is the most experienced runner in the field and should be suited by what is a stiff test of stamina for a 2-year-old but, before you go in with your head down, it’s worth remembering that he does face a whole host of largely unknown quantities. Michael Dods’ Majestic Missile colt Market Choice, for example, was only beaten a head in a similar race over course and distance last month, despite obvious signs of greenness, so at least a cursory glance at the market is recommended.
Selection: Carlisle 2.30 Highly Sprung to win