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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Tuesday 7th January 2014 in Sport
The days of Mick Appleby’s horses going off overpriced are long gone, but it is still worth following Arabian Flight in the Ladbrokes Handicap at Southwell on Tuesday.
Winner of two of her last three races, there is every chance there is even more to come with the yard in such good form.
She won over seven furlongs at Kempton in October off 54 but was only fourth at Wolverhampton off 6lb higher.
Appleby then gave her a break and reported after she won on her comeback at Southwell last month that Arabian Flight needed the run.
Taking that into account, and given the way she stuck on gamely, this step back up to a mile threatens to offset another 3lb rise.
The mare is now rated higher than at any other point in her life but hailing from a yard who have been banging in winners of late, she is taken to continue her improvement.
Charlie Hills does not keep many of his string on the go through the winter for the all-weather but those that are in action are always worth a second glance.
Only four go to post for the 32Red Handicap and his four-race maiden Yeah Baby is top weight, which looks harsh on the face of it off his mark of 72.
Given two of Yeah Baby’s runs came at Newmarket and Newbury he has obviously shown Hills a bit on the gallops at home.
Only 2lb separate all four runners but Hills’ charge has more scope for improvement than the rest.
Anything Adam Kirby rides at the moment is worth noting and he has been booked by Mike Murphy for Limon Squeezy in the Ladbrokes Maiden Stakes.
Her two runs to date have hardly marked her down as a surefire future winner but none of her rivals fall into the bracket, either.
Kirby has not been on board for either of those two previous appearances but the rate at he is racking up the winners during recent months suggest his agent must be doing something right and finding horses like this are what makes the difference.
Noted staying on into fourth over seven furlongs last time out, the Royal Applause mare has more scope to improve than most.
Kirby also holds strong claims on Jawaab in the 32Red.com Handicap.
Phil Kirby’s veteran has been in consistent form of late, which is more than can be said for most of his rivals.
Johnny Og can get off the mark over jumps in the Nomad Novices’ Hurdle at Leicester after being denied a chance at Grade One glory on Saturday.
Trainer Martin Keighley felt the five-year-old deserved an opportunity at the top level in the Tolworth at Sandown, only for the weather to intervene.
He has had a nice break since disappointing when odds-on at Hexham in November and can make amends at the East Midlands track.
Stow can rattle off a quickfire hat-trick in the Dove Selling Hurdle after wins on this track and at Fakenham in the last week or so.
The nine-year-old, trained by Michael Blake, revels in testing conditions and is useful in this grade.
Stow was a decent staying hurdler when with Venetia Williams, having a career-high rating of 128, albeit in April 2011, and is still capable of winning races as he has shown this season.
Via Sundown can also complete a treble by adding the Leicester Annual Members Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase to two wins at Lingfield.
Both those victories have come with plenty of cut in the ground and Gary Moore’s six-year-old should appreciate similar conditions on this course.
SOUTHWELL: 12.30 Summerfree, 1.00 Jawaab, 1.35 Yeah Baby, 2.10 ARABIAN FLIGHT (NAP), 2.40 Limon Squeezy, 3.15 Moss Hill, 3.45 Tijuca.
LEICESTER: 12.40 Johnny Og, 1.10 Stow, 1.45 Via Sundown, 2.20 Lord Landen, 2.50 Red Rock, 3.25 Santo Thomas.
DOUBLE: Arabian Flight and Yeah Baby.
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