This promises to be a good novice event, won last year by the high-class Powerful Breeze. ZWELELA shaped with considerable encouragement in going down narrowly to her market rival (with the benefit of a run) at Newbury and, over an extra furlong this afternoon, she’ll be hard to beat. Miss Chess had excuses at Goodwood and needs respecting, while A’Shaari is a superbly-bred newcomer from a stable that makes hay on this track with its 2yos.
It’s hard to know what lurks amongst the newcomers and the betting should guide in that respect, but MEGALLAN and Marlay Park have already confirmed themselves above average. The latter ran a nice first race behind the Gimcrack winner but even with a penalty preference is for John Gosden’s well-bred colt, who won with a bit of a swagger here two weeks ago.
An open handicap may go to BLUE SKYLINE, who will appreciate any further rain that falls. He returns to the trip at which he ran his best race on the Rowley course last year and on that form he’s got himself well handicapped. Frozen Waters could be interesting should it get wet and Born A King, a fellow unexposed handicap debutant from a top yard, is another likely contender.
Owney Madden should have further races in him off this sort of mark, while Many A Star ought to give another good account, but there’s a chance MAN OF PROMISE could develop into a smart performer and he’s taken to make a winning handicap debut. He showed a good attitude to beat a subsequent winner at Yarmouth in June and the drop back in trip shouldn’t be an issue.
The unexposed Summit Fever has more on his plate against a big field of hard-knocking handicappers but he’s capable of better and his Lingfield win was backed up by the Topspeed figure. Eeh Bah Gum, Nibras Again, Rose Hip and last year’s winner Han Solo Berger all enter the reckoning, while a return to form from Shamshon wouldn’t be the biggest shock at this venue. They’ll all have to go some if LIVE IN THE MOMENT reproduces the form he showed at York on Saturday, though, and Adam West’s thoroughly likeable 3yo can maintain his unbeaten record at this trip.
Inhalation has been impressing over 7f and SILVER SAMURAI is on an upward curve. With less to prove in today’s race over 1m, including if the ground has softened, it is Marco Botti’s charge who gets the vote.
Alpine Mistral would have something to prove if the ground is softer than good and she has gone up the weights, but of course she is still very high up the list in this bid for a four-timer. Most of what the others have achieved is flimsy in comparison but several of those are also unexposed and it would not surprise were one or more to take a significant step forward. After her two starts, CORAZONADA could be the one to do so. Miss Mulligan, Katniss Everdeen and Licit are others who could improve.
While it is possible to construct cases for some of the others, MORROOJ (nap) and Kew Palace are the ones who stand out. The latter starts her handicap career with potential following a much improved display at Chepstow, but the way with which Morrooj dispatched her rivals in a 1m, soft-ground handicap at the same course suggests that Roger Varian’s charge can follow up.
Knowing is a striking candidate following his luckless venture over C&D last time but there are other interesting options. Hawridge Flyer could be returning to form and is on a very good mark if so, while there is a lot to like in Potenza’s record. However, the 3yo GRINLING can continue his progressive ways with this further step up in trip and he is the selection.
The Racing Post’s best bets at Newmarket on Friday
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