Race Time: 2.15pm Meeting: Newmarket Distance: 1m 6f
Full Race Name: mazerattan.com Handicap (Class 2)
Stamina seems to be quite high on the agendas of the race planners this week, and this mile and three quarters will sort the men from the boys as the quicker going seems sure to virtually guarantee a ferocious early pace. The first horse I just have to mention is Barbican, who has been entered up all over the place for the past fortnight or so, and may finally get a run this afternoon. He has been off the track for a long while now (657 days to be precise), but was pretty decent back in the day with numerous wins that saw his rating peak at 111 in 2012, and he was still rated 104 when last seen in action at Ascot in July 2013. The mile and three quarters is not an issue (maybe a mile and a half would be more suitable but what do we know), and if he is fit (that is a massive if), then a rating of 98 is not asking too much by any stretch of the imagination. Trained Don Cantillon is well respected in the racing game and if he feels he is ready to run then he is – but we will be watching the market to assess his true chances Saturday morning.
Castilo Del Diablo looks interesting lower down the weights for David Simcock who has his string in fine fettle, and with Sophie Killoran taking seven pounds off his back he could well be of interest. He stays further, has won off higher, and looks the most likely to love the faster ground – at decent odds he looks to be the one they all have to beat. Marco Botti is doing well with his ever-expanding string and if he sends Norab here he should prove mighty difficult to keep pout of the first three. After winning on his reappearance at Chelmsford he failed to see out the two miles at Ripon when last seen in late April, but back to a more suitable trip seems to have excellent form chances with Daniel Muscatt likely to be riding to take three pounds off of his back.
Alan Swinbank is a trainer we like a lot and who seems very adept at placing his horses to win races when he feels like it, and if he sendsAramist for this contest, he needs at least some serious consideration. Softer going would seemingly be in his best interests based on most of his better form including a win last time out at Hamilton, but he may not get that this weekend and we will not be backing him if the ground is good or faster. To be fair, he did win on good ground at Pontefract last August but of his five wins, four were on turf with the word soft in the going description, so hopefully you can see our point ahead of the weekend? To round things off nicely, how about an outsider in the shape of Maid In Rio? Her form is better on the faster ground that seems likely (famous last words), and if any trainer is astute with staying sorts, Mark Johnston is your man, and he may yet be capable of squeezing out enough improvement to make her competitive here.