Race Time: 2.50pm Meeting: Newmarket Distance: 1m 5f
Full Race Name: Fly easyJet From London Southend Airport Handicap Class Two
Two races from Newmarket thrown in to the mix this afternoon and a competitive looking handicap that should hopefully be run on Good ground if the rains miss headquarters as expected. To our surprise top weight Wadi Al Hattawi turns out after being pulled up in the Ebor at York last weekend, but we cannot entertain backing him under those circumstances which leads us straight to
Lady Cecil’s Retirement Plan (14/1) the new top weight. Yet to race this season it would be a seriously impressive training feat to win a race like this after close to a year off the track, yet Litigant had been off e en longer and he ran away with the Ebor so it is more than possible if the horse is good enough. Now a five year old, the gelded son of Monsun is bred to appreciate a bit of cut in the ground which he may or may not get here, but will relish the trip and has won over further (two miles at Ascot), and placed behind some useful sorts such as Mutual Regard and Pallasator, but presumably has had a few minor niggles to be off the track this long – or were they just waiting for a bit of juice in the ground we wonder? Having popped down to see Gary Moore on the gallops the other day we can’t help but mention the talented young Hector Crouch (who is going to be a top jockey by the look of it) on board Triumphant (33/1) who could run a big race at an even bigger price with a bit of luck. Better known these days over hurdles than on the flat, the son of Danehill Dancer isn’t too bad at this game either and has pretty decent form on the all-weather and even placed second to Camelot at The Curragh in a Group Three when with Aiden O’Brien, and a repeat of that would be more than good enough today! He seems to stay two miles on the flat so won’t find this too taxing, and may even lap up the heavier going – one to consider to pennies at a big price if nothing else?
Others to include in an intriguing contest look to be headed by the Michael Appleby trained Royal Signaller (8/1) who is also on a bit of a roll. Victories at Doncaster and more recent at Ascot have advertised his trainer’s abilities (as if we didn’t know), and as he stays two miles standing on his head, the faster they go this afternoon, the better. Only put up four pounds for the last win, his style of hitting the lead at the furlong pole then holding off all comers not only works for him but also seems to keep the handicapper in the dark, and we feel there is every possibility that he has more left in the locker to play with if needed. Karraar (13/2) let us all down last time out when expected to run a huge race at Nottingham over a mile and three quarters only to let his supporters down with a well beaten fifth, two and a half lengths behind Rhombus on soft ground where it looked as if he didn’t get home. Whether a drop back in trip of a mere furlong will see him in a better light we question to be honest, but then again William Haggas can do little wrong in the big weekend races lately, which certainly increases his chances with Paul Hanagan booked to ride as expected. Talking of horses who keep letting us down, how about Farquhar (15/2), Peter Chapple-Hyam’s four year old who is as frustrating as any horse we have followed in recent years with the occasional win when least expected (witness a 40/1 success her over a furlong less last season), but never when you think he has a chance! On breeding he cannot stay this far but it’s only one more furlong and he did run a far better race when last seen finishing second to Gold Trail here and if he is going to pop up again at big price, today could yet be the day?