MUTAMAASIK was unraced as a juvenile but he quickly made up for lost time last season, shaping nicely when runner-up on debut and then racking up a four-timer.
His victory at Doncaster in September on his final start of the campaign identified him as one with the potential to make his presence felt at an even higher level, landing the spoils by a short head but looking value for extra.
He certainly showed enough to suggest a 3lb higher mark is workable and, with the scope for further progress, he is one to closely consider.
Although beaten on his first three handicap starts in 2019, MONTATHAM ended the season with an air of unfinished about him.
He proved that point in no uncertain terms on his return to action at Newmarket recently, looking much more like the finished article after a gelding operation, forging clear in the final furlong to win by three lengths.
Clearly, this demands more (up significantly in grade after an 8lb rise in the weights), but the feeling remains that we’ve barely scratched the surface of his potential, with a strongly-run race at this trip expected to play to his strengths (likely to stay further).
- READ MORE: Horse Racing tips: Timeform’s 3 bankers and a vulnerable favourite at the Royal Ascot festival
Placed on all three starts as a two-year-old, FINEST SOUND proved a different proposition on his handicap debut/reappearance at Haydock earlier this month, travelling powerfully and quickly forging clear after hitting the front two out and ultimately winning easily by five and a half lengths.
It’s hard to know what the catalyst was for that much-improved display, with breathing and gelding operations during the winter both likely to have helped.
In any case, it’s not hard to envisage him staying ahead of the handicapper for a while longer yet, still unexposed and more than likely to be plying his trade in Group races before the year is out.
APLOMB had some strong pieces of form to his name at three (including over this C&D) and looks the type to do better still this year.
He may have failed to meet market expectations on his recent reappearance at Newmarket, but he shaped better than the bare result, finding himself amongst horses and with plenty of ground to make up at a crucial stage, doing well under the circumstances to be beaten only two and three quarter lengths.
His strength at the finish points to him making further progress now back up in trip, with a BHA mark of 95 unlikely to prove beyond him when everything falls right.
* Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.
- RECOMMENDED READING:
- Horse Racing: 5 best Royal Ascot moments – including Frankel and Black Caviar
- Horse Racing tips: Jason Weaver’s tips for Tuesday at Royal Ascot begin with this 8/1 fancy
- Horse Racing tips: Brendan Duke picks out the 4 best Irish runners to prosper at Royal Ascot
- Horse Racing tips: Matt Chapman’s regal punts for Royal Ascot on Tuesday
- Horse Racing tips: Timeform’s 4 fab 2-year-olds to follow at Royal Ascot
- Horse Racing tips: Timeform’s 3 bankers and a vulnerable favourite at the Royal Ascot festival
- Horse Racing tips: Paddy Power’s 4 best backed horses at the Royal Ascot festival