McDonagh Cocksure Of Melvista Plans


Trainer Kieran McDonagh believes there is one course of action for Cockney Crew in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) at Ascot on Saturday, just let him run.

Going to the front and bowling along was what Cockney Crew adopted with devastating effect at Bunbury two starts back when he won by six lengths.

The Maschino gelding attempted to get away with similar tactics in last Saturday week’s Roberts Stakes (1800m), but met resistance for the lead from Hyperspace.

But while Hyperspace had run out of gas by the turn and faded to a distant last behind Platoon, Cockney Crew held on strongly for fourth, beaten three lengths.

McDonagh believes an improved barrier draw can help Cockney Crew turn the tables in the Melvista Stakes. He jumps from gate four for Shaun O’Donnell.

McDonagh says his instructions to O’Donnell will be simple and concise.

“Coming over from barrier 11 last start didn’t help,” McDonagh told Tabradio.

“We had to do a little work to get into that position.

“I think we can give it a rattle if we can get to the front and into a rhythm.

“He might be pretty hard to run down.

“He has a high cruising speed and can stay all day.

“I think the trip will be no problem to him.

“If we can just get to the front and sneak a couple of lengths on them somewhere, he will be pretty hard to run down at the end.”

Cockney Crew is quoted $6.50 with the TAB. He sits on the third line of betting behind Regal Power ($1.90) and Platoon ($4.20).

Meanwhile Jockey Steve Parnham says he can see no reason why Platoon can’t follow up and claim successive features in the Melvista Stakes.

“I’m confident he will run another good race for me,” Parnham said.

“He has come on from his run the other day.

“He is on the way up and I’m happy with the way he is going.”

Julio Santarelli