4.10pm Newmarket – Betfair Price Rush Sprint Trophy (Handicap) Class Two – 6f
What a race this could be with Group class runners near the top and even the possible bottom weight a runner up last time out, it is that competitive. With jockey Tom Marquand proving himself to be super value for his claim and the Richard Hannon yard in fine fettle, there is a fair bit to like about the chances of Nisser (7/2) here. Just the trio of runs at two, he was third at Newmarket (behind multiple Group one winner Shalaa) and was then fourth to stable companion Madrinho, but made it third time lucky when getting off the mark at Windsor when seeing off Dream Destination by close to four lengths. Put away since, some of that form if taken at face value would see him rated a lot higher than 85 and if any horse here got in under the radar it may well be the son of Dream Ahead who could yet be Group class and will carry our money here.
This is a handicap which instantly means we need to look carefully at anything trained by living legend Sir Mark Prescott, and he has Marsha (7/1) engaged here though she is hardly unexposed. After finishing second to Zhui Feng at Kempton on her debut she won her next two races at Catterick (over six furlongs) and then at Dundalk (over five), before ending 2015 with a third to Take Cover at the same track. That was a Listed race and she was receiving lumps of weight as a juvenile, but she is clearly pretty decent and looks to have an each way shout this afternoon.
Of those who have won recently, Suqoor (14/1) looks interesting if only because connections have jumped in and booked Silvestre De Sousa to ride him as he did when scoring last time out at Lingfield over a furlong further. The handicapper didn’t take too kindly to that win as they put the son of Equiano up a further nine pounds for a win in what we see as a pretty minor event, and if he and Rah Rah run they could cut each others throats battling for the early lead.
Back to the Charlie Hills yard again next as as he seems to have most of the better sprinting talent meaning we can’t just ignore Sahreej (14/1) even if his form looks a little short of some of his key rivals. He did win a couple of handicaps last year at two, one each at Chepstow and Newbury, the latter on heavy going, so if the ground gets any worse, his chances could or even should increase. We don’t thin he is as well weighted as some today, nor does he look the sort to improve dramatically at three, but what can you say when the stable are winning the three year old sprints left right and centre.
Lastly for now, we haven’t failed to notice the superb form of the Charlie Appleby yard who have had seven winners in their last twenty-two runners for a 32% strike rate and level stakes profit, and it looks like he will rely on Venturous (9/2) to carry the Godolphin blue. Two wins at Newmarket and Doncaster saw him thrown in at the deep end in the Group One Middle Part Stakes where he failed the audition, after which he was put away for the season. Dropped back to handicap class he ran well enough when third at Newmarket despite being denied a run and being hampered, and if he avoids trouble today, he should run well off exactly the same mark here.
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