GODOLPHIN GELDING FITS THE KEMPTON BILL
All-conquering Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby can claim the honours in the feature race at Kempton Park on Friday evening, the 32Red Nursery Handicap (6.45).
He runs lightly raced maiden AQUANURA, who has been gelded since having the misfortune to bump into smart Godolphin newcomer Royal Meeting at Yarmouth in September.
Saeed Bin Suroor’s colt went on to win the Group 1 Criterium International, while Appleby’s son of Invincible Spirit had his appointment with the vet.
It’s encouraging that this powerful operation chooses to persevere on the All-Weather with this 83-rated performer who has the benefit of a good low draw in the 7f handicap.
An obvious danger is John Gosden’s Frederickbarbarosa, who made all to win a 7f nursery at Newcastle off just a 3lb lower mark last time. He lacks scope, however, and looks vulnerable over this sharper test.
Another to consider is Private Rocket who stuck to his task well from a prominent position in a course and distance novice stakes in October and looks fairly treated on his handicap debut off a mark of 78.
STEP UP IN TRIP LOOKS IDEAL FOR BREATHLESS
BREATHLESS TIMES, sharp enough to finish fourth in last season’s 3YO Sprint Final, can take a step up in trip in his stride in the Sun Racing No1 Racing Site Conditions Stakes (1.25) at Lingfield Park on Saturday.
Roger Charlton’s three-year-old made a promising return at Kempton Park last month - his first start since being gelded and undergoing a wind operation - when he finished fourth in a hot conditions sprint.
He has never tackled 7f before but his dam was an All-Weather winner over that trip and also scored over the demanding mile at Pontefract.
Nicely drawn, and well enough in at the weights with a rating of 99, he will need to settle better than he did at Kempton, but that run should have taken the freshness out of him and the presence of confirmed trailblazer Salateen should give him something to aim at.
Another contender is John Gosden’s recent acquisition Ghazawaat, who began her career in France before making a pleasing debut in a fillies’ conditions race at Wolverhampton last week. She looks an ideal type for the distaff final so this will be a useful mission in determining her effectiveness on the track.
HURRICANE READY TO BLOW AT LINGFIELD
He ran well in defeat in an ultra-competitive Kempton handicap last month, finishing fourth off a 1lb higher mark with subsequent scorers Island Of Life and Arzaak behind.
The six-year-old hasn’t been the most consistent and, like the majority of older sprinters, will need the cards to fall in his favour, but he has shown enough to suggest he can get back to winning ways after falling 19lb in the rankings since last summer.
Harry Hurricane does have a wide draw to overcome, but likes to arrive late from off the pace and is better berthed than one of this week’s Eyecatchers Jack Taylor. He ran well at Southwell last time and resumes off just a 1lb higher mark, but making an impact on this sharp track from stall 10 might prove tricky.
6.40 KEMPTON, FRIDAY
2.00 LINGFIELD PARK, SATURDAY
3.10 LINGFIELD PARK, SATURDAY
Richard Hannon’s juvenile made a taking All-Weather debut in an extended 1m nursery at Wolverhampton on Saturday. Ridden by Tom Marquand, the gelded son of Olympic Glory was short of room when the tempo lifted on the turn for home but finished strongly to be a closing third. A 2lb rise leaves him on a workable mark of just 71 and I expect this unexposed sort to make his mark in his next couple of starts.
This three-year-old sprinter is warming to the All-Weather following solid placed efforts at Kempton Park and, more recently, at Southwell last week. As it turned out, he was drawn on the right side of the track when chasing home Arzaak in a 5f dash on the Fibresand but still showed plenty of promise in defeat. In fact, he re-appears over the minimum trip at Lingfield this weekend off just a 1lb higher mark but is badly drawn. Richard Hughes’ charge is clearly a versatile type trackwise - he’s won at Brighton and been placed at Epsom - and is also effective over 6f, so options remain very much open.
Carrying the famous Niarchos Family silks, this debutant picked up smartly at the business end to post a highly promising debut in a 7f novice at Chelmsford City last week. She ran on well to finish third behind subsequent winner California Love. Beautifully bred, this daughter of Maxios - himself a classy juvenile and a brother to Arc winner Bago - is out of a Listed winning half-sister to Oaks heroine Light Shift. A similar novice stakes is well within her grasp, over 7f or possibly even 1m.
Roger Varian has made a strong start to the winter season and unleashed another surefire future winner in Khuzaam in a 1m novice stakes at Lingfield on Tuesday. This son of a dual All-Weather winner had his challenge delayed when the race became bunched at a crucial stage but then ran on strongly to chase home another Hamdan Al Maktoum runner, Dawaam, trained by Owen Burrows. The Kitten’s Joy colt will be wiser for the experience and can be found a winning opportunity in the coming weeks.