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RALPH BECKETT'S PACIFY ONE TO WATCH AT ROYAL ASCOT
Robert Cowell's latest classy sprint recruit hadn’t run over the minimum trip for previous handler Roger Varian and he never threatened to strike a blow in the big five-furlong sprint won decisively by Duke Of Firenze.
Toofi's fourth to Don't Touch in the Ayr Gold Cup and a second spot in the Stewards' Cup behind Magical Memory underline his ability, but he never found an inch of proper racing room to strut his stuff and it is best to ignore this effort.
Has developed into a very consistent top-notch handicapper and the four-year-old just failed to concede 17lb to Nayel in the 888sport handicap over an extended 10 furlongs.
Pacify was a bit sloppy exiting the stalls but made up ground steadily to throw down his sustained challenge.
Pacify seems versatile ground-wise (runner-up to Dark Red on soft at Epsom in April) and Ralph Beckett will have Royal Ascot on the agenda.
Sir Michael Stoute gave the Khalid Abdullah-owned four-year-old only his fifth career start in the Hambleton Stakes and Convey looked a bit unfortunate not to collect.
Wearing first-time cheekpieces, Convey was stopped in his run before Ryan Moore could deliver a power-packed finish that almost reeled in Always Smile.
A backend Windsor winner last season, Four On Eight was well touted before his reappearance from a 204-day absence but looked a bit ring-rusty in this one-mile handicap.
Luca Cumani’s colt, the 7-2 favourite, was outpaced going into the Dip and plugged on into fourth under Ryan Moore, suggesting a slightly longer trip may prove beneficial.
Still early days for this likeable three-year-old.
Log Out Island was launched from the gates like a bazooka, simply blowing away his rivals in a puff of smoke, but Remarkable emerged from out of the pack to beat the rest fair and square.
Blinkered by John Gosden on his last three starts, Remarkable was propelled into this Listed company on the back of victories at Doncaster and Southwell and he is an imposing individual.
The son of Pivotal, running in the Cheveley Park Stud colours, hasn’t been risked on fast ground and that’s unlikely to change this summer. Remains progressive.
Unusually, the far side in sprints held sway in the wet early weeks of the season but the track bias returned to something like normal on this much quicker ground.
The first three home in the six-furlong handicap were drawn 13, 10 and 15 so Growl was almost certainly disadvantaged racing on the flank from stall 3.
Dr Marwan Koukash’s ubiquitous colours haven’t been spotted in the winner’s enclosure too often this spring (drew a rare blank at his beloved Chester May meeting) but he has picked up a likely candidate in Growl, formerly with Brian Meehan and now in the care of Richard Fahey.
Having his third start for the stable, Growl moved comfortably under Adam McNamara before fading into fourth behind winner Explain, and although the four-year-old has drawn a blank in 12 races since scoring on his debut at Ascot, he has suffered from a lofty handicap mark which is gradually receding.
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