SIR BUDGET turned around his form at odds of 40-1 when fitted with blinkers in May's grade one Lotto Sprint, signalling his back class should serve him well among open allowance runners in this afternoon's five-furlong dash for the tenth race.
Trainer Michael Beecham appears to have found the tonic to rejuvenate six-year-old SIR BUDGET, the blinkers he wore for the first time to chase MR UNIVERSE and SIEMPRE BUENO in splits of 22.1 and 45.0 for the half mile.
SIR BUDGET not only chased the two quickest horses in the country but stayed on strongly along the rail in the stretch run to finish three lengths behind SHE'S A MANEATER, who had to come from behind to win the five and a half furlong event in 1:05.2.
However, the handicaps are now against SIR BUDGET, who has incurred the wrath of the conditions and comes in at the top of the scale, 126lb, giving weight all around, despite not having won a race at the level since last October.
Beecham is either supremely confident or extremely loyal to veteran jockey Gary Richards, opting not to utilise a claiming apprentice aboard SIR BUDGET, allowing other speedsters such as CRUCIAL APPEAL and A.P.I., 10 and 16lb, respectively.
CRUCIAL APPEAL could be the most dangerous at the handicaps. Now eight years old, the chestnut speedster bypassed the Lotto Sprint, racing two classes below a week earlier, but was no match for MR UNIVERSE and finished fourth behind the young speedster at five furlongs straight, going down by three and a quarter lengths with 126lb.
Though he now gets a 10lb reprieve and has the services of the leading rider, apprentice Anthony Thomas, at the minimum trip, CRUCIAL APPEAL has not won a race on the round course in a while.
Anthony Nunes' filly, A.P.I. comes in even lighter than CRUCIAL APPEAL, 110lb, but has a class deficit to make up on SIR BUDGET, a big horse, who is a battler and at his best at five furlongs round, clocking 58.3 at the distance last October.