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ZABEEL CHAMPION has already proven himself to be a very tidy handicapper and surely it won’t be long before he has to step up into decent group company. The colt us looking for the three timer having been even more impressive last time when winning at Ripon.
He looks as if he will be tough to beat over this galloping mile-and-a-half. He may even get the perfect tow into the contest by his stablemate Sky Defender. He is capable of producing that telling late break from out of the dip and up the hill to the line.
OPERA GIFT was a thoroughly progressive stayer throughout last season, and this lightly raced older performer can only continue to climb up the ladder. Ocean Wind was the only one too strong when we saw him last time at Doncaster, and that form has already been given a boost with him chasing home Stradivarius at Ascot. Boss Power is normally a little keen and they may well decide to let him stride along early, which sets it up perfectly for the selection.
SEA KARATS was a beaten favourite on her only start at Newbury just 16 days ago, but that does not tell the full story for this £500,000 purchase as she was incredibly unlucky and denied a clear passage atvital stage.
It’s interesting that on the back of that one effort she is thrown into Listed company. But, given that is the way her excellent handler William Haggas has decided to go this, it has probably been on the radar since before that debut effort and let’s take the hint.
MORISCO just managed to get a little bit out of his ground at Thirsk when we saw him on his return and given the nature of that track, he did incredibly well to finish a close up fourth. He was not making any inroads until well inside the final furlong, suggesting that a slight step in distance on this stiffer track would definitely suit. It’s a big opportunity for his rider Jane Elliott to showcase her talents in front of the ITV cameras.
LADY BOWTHORPE progressed up the ratings ladder quite nicely throughout last season and her best performance was when held up at the back of the pack at Ascot. She sprinted clear there for a scintillating victory.
She did dip her toe into very hot company towards the end of the campaign and possibly the effects of a long season were starting to take their toll. The William Jarvis yard is in decent form and given that she has not many miles on the clock, you’d like to believe she’s not at her ceiling just yet.
Admittedly when you look at the conditions of this race, SIGNIFICANTLY has got upwards of 10lbs to find with a couple of the runners in this line-up. However, he has for sometime been racing over the wrong distance and again this was shown when leading over the extra furlong at Newmarket, just to come up short in the closing stages.
Back down on this rollercoaster 5 furlongs, he can put that natural speed to good use in the early stages and get these on the back foot early on. his form behind Rohaan doesn’t look so bad now.
SACRED was a fantastic performer last season and always gives her running regardless of trip and track conditions. She is the ultimate professional and knows what is required, which is something the red-hot favourite Santa Barbara will have to overcome.
The selection has a slight question mark over the distance, however the fact that she is so relaxed and professional gives her every opportunity of seeing out the mile at HQ. Expect her to be smuggled up in behind the pace and unleashed late on for one final kick up the final climb to Classic glory.
13:50 Newmarket – Zabeel Champion
14:05 Salisbury – Opera Gift
14:25 Newmarket – Sea Karats
14:40 Hamilton – Morisco
15:00 Newmarket – Lady Bowthorpe
15:15 Hamilton – Significantly
15:40 Newmarket – Sacred
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