Wincanton are optimistic of beating the rain for this afternoon’s cracking jumps card although they need to pass a 7.30 inspection. There is an excellent handicap hurdle over 2m 5f and the unexposed novices Silsol and Ainsi Fidelis (2.10) with marginal preference for the latter. The selection is a half-brother to Paul Nicholls’ Sametegal but there is also plenty of stamina in the family which suggests this 2m 5f trip on heavy ground should be within his compass.
A winner as a 3-year-old over an extended two miles he was well beaten art Wetherby on his British debut but that was in a listed juvenile hurdle and he would probably have won at Sedgefield last time had he not fell two out when in a three length lead. This trip on heavy ground is a worry for a 4-y-old but he could be very well handicapped and might turn up in something like the Martin Pipe of Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival.
In the 2m 5f Handicap Chase Ultragold (2.40) should enjoy dropping back in trip having travelled well at Lingfield last time in similar conditions before not getting home over 3 miles. A winner at Auteuil over this trip back in April he looks to be coming to terms with his new surroundings and he has been entered for a valuable race at Kempton Park next month.
There is an excellent card in Meydan where the feature race is the Group 2 Cape Verdi Stakes for Fillies’ and Mares’ over a mile which sees the eagerly-awaited comeback of the unbeaten filly Certify one of 22 Godolphin horses suspended from racing for six months in 2013 as a result of the BHA inquiry into the doping of horses at the yard of Mahmood Al Zarooni.
Her new trainer Charlie Appleby insists she is ready to do herself justice from a near 500 day lay-off although he suggests she will improve for the run and preference is for another Godolphin inmate Shuruq, despite giving 3lbs to her stablemate. One could argue the selection is a better horse on an all-weather surface but she is sure to be spot on for the race whereas Certify and French Guineas winner Flotilla are entitled to come on for the run.
The other Group race on the card is over 1m 1f and this step up in trip will suit Steeler but the vote goes to Mushreq (5.00) who returned from a lay-off to win at the Carnival on the opening night and can follow up for Mike De Kock with his draw in stall one a plus. He might need luck in running but the hope is there is plenty of pace in the race which would play to his strength. Newmarket raider Trade Storm is a fascinating runner given he won twice at last year’s carnival and jockey Jamie Spencer is riding at the peak of his powers at present.
Saxo Jack has a horrible draw to overcome in stall 13 in the finale but is certainly one to consider in the finale but the vote goes to his old adversary Haafaguinea (5.35) who ran a cracker here a fortnight ago and can race off the same mark. He wouldn’t want the race to turn into a sprint as he stays further but, as long as the race doesn’t prove tactical, he can grind out a win.
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