TROPICS may be in the twilight of his career but his win at Chelmsford tonight showed it’s a case of being 11 years young as the veteran notched his 13th career victory in 51 starts.
Seven went to post for the £20,000 0-105 handicap for 4yos and upwards and although he was on the same winning mark (100) as when winning at the Essex track in June, he was not well drawn on the wide outside.
However, Robert Winston knows the horse inside out having won on him on seven previous occasions. He jumped into a prominent position and the pair always looked to be in a strong position throughout the five furlong contest. Royal Birth presented a challenge inside the final furlong but the stable runner was always in command and was three-quarter of a length to the good at the line.
The Racing Post was full of praise for the chestnut gelding: “This conclusively proves the fire still burns bright and the 11yo has been a tremendous credit to connections.”
Certainly, Tropics’ record bears the closest scrutiny. He has won or been in the first four in 27 of his 51 races and while most of his more recent successes have been on an artificial surface, he has still won seven races on the turf. Indeed his two most impressive performances were when runner-up two years running in Europe’s richest sprint, the Darley July Cup in 2014 and 2015.
Harper Lodge Farm has made a good start to the season with Tropics’ win coming two days after Swiss Chime’s success on New Year’s Day. It might have been three wins had Classic Charm not run into a tartar in the shape of her conqueror, Philamundo, for whom the blinkers worked the oracle in spectacular fashion. However, two wins and a second from six runners is a good way to start the New Year!