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SEA CAN STAR IN A GOOD HANDICAP NOW BACK ON FLAT FOR JOHNSTON
Well supported (6-4 fav) to step up on his debut eighth behind Aardwolf at Newbury and his backers were a bit unlucky not to collect.
Hurricane Rush was impeded as the stalls opened and had a lot of ground to make up turning for home.
His late progress carried him into second spot behind smart newcomer Euginio and Charlie Hills’s colt should make it third time lucky in similar grade.
Looks a clever acquisition by Iain Jardine out of a Chepstow seller (won three for David Evans) and this was another solid effort.
Irish raider Sharjah was allowed a soft lead and never looked likely to be caught, but Hillgrove Angel stayed on well in second.
His Musselburgh success over Rhythmical has worked out well at a modest level, with the fourth horse winning next time at Ripon.
Previously, all Hillgrove Angel’s victories had come on soft ground, but he seems pretty adaptable.
Finished fourth on her debut over 10 furlongs at Lingfield four weeks earlier and this was another step in the right direction.
Mazalto doesn’t do anything quickly and already needs further than this 1m 4f test on the evidence of her third to very impressive Taqaareed.
Made to look leaden-footed when the winner roared into turbo-charge, Mazalto was staying on strongly at the finish.
Hugo Palmer will be looking forward to staying handicaps with his filly.
Carrying a 6lb penalty for his Newcastle victory a week earlier, Like No Other compromised his chance with a poor break which saw him cast adrift.
David Allan never looked particularly happy on Les Eyre’s three-year-old but, to his credit, Like No Other responded to his rider’s urgings and stayed on into third spot behind Janab.
Like No Other didn’t cut the mustard for previous handler William Haggas but seems in good order at present.
With three-year-olds taking their place in handicaps off lowly weights it has opened up opportunities for Jimmy Quinn and the senior lightweight jockey is grabbing them with both hands (four winners in past 11 days).
Quinn gave The Graduate a text-book ride, stalking the leaders until taking closer order down the straight.
The Graduate gradually pulled clear with plenty left in the tank and Andrew Balding’s stayer is at the right end of the handicap to further exploit his mark (73 here), especially with some cut underfoot.
Rushed up from his very wide draw in the bet365 Old Newton Cup to lead after a furlong, Stars Over The Sea stuck on commendably when headed, finishing seventh.
Rated 99 in his pomp as a three-year-old with Mark Johnston, Stars Over the Sea was sent to David Pipe for a hurdling campaign.
Although winning his first two, he was never a fluent hurdler but was still classy enough to run seventh to Peace And Co in the 2015 JCB Triumph Hurdle.
Now back with Johnston, Stars Over The Sea raced off 89 and, although quirky, is more than capable of landing a nice handicap.
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