Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column

Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column

Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column

First published in Sport

Munaaser shaped with abundant promise on his sole juvenile appearance and is strongly fancied to get his three-year-old campaign off to a winning start in the High-Rise Maiden Stakes at Pontefract.

The extended 10-furlong contest was won by subsequent Dante Stakes winner and Epsom Derby runner-up Libertarian 12 months ago and while it may be fanciful to suggest Munaaser is set to scale similar heights, it is not out of the question, as he does hold entries in both races.

The New Approach colt had clearly been showing Sir Michael Stoute plenty prior to his racecourse introduction at Yarmouth last September as he was sent off a heavily-supported 6-4 favourite for a seven-furlong maiden.

Like the majority of the stable’s newcomers, Munaaser appeared in need of the experience, but there was plenty to like about the way he came home to pick up minor honours in third, beaten little over a length.

The form is watertight with the winner, Oxsana, narrowly held in Listed company a couple of stars later, while the runner-up, Torchlighter, bolted up on his next start and ended the campaign with a mark in the high 80s.

There is little doubt Munaaser will benefit from the step up to a mile and a quarter and he will have to win and win impressively if his Classic engagements are going to be fulfilled.

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The Marco Botti-trained Quiet Warrior has plenty of untapped potential ahead of his handicap debut at the West Yorkshire circuit.

The Kodiac gelding looked a winner waiting to happen when beaten a neck on his Kempton debut over seven furlongs, so it was no surprise to see him go off at odds-on when he turned up over a furlong shorter at the track in mid-December.

While he was entitled to secure victory, it was still difficult not to be impressed by the manner of his runaway success, leaving the impression he was in a different league to his opponents on the day.

He has been handed a figure 83 ahead of his return in the New Racing UK Anywhere Available Now Handicap and assuming he is as effective on turf as he showed on the all-weather, he should make his presence felt in a competitive heat.

The all-weather fare comes from Southwell, where Right Of Appeal rates the bet of the meeting in the 32Red Casino Handicap.

Three maiden outings at six furlongs as a juvenile offered little promise, but he made his handicap debut over a mile and a half at Wolverhampton in January and odds-on backers had few worries as Mark Johnston’s charge sauntered six lengths clear in a canter.

The assessor has bumped him up almost a stone in the weights for that romp, but judged on the ease of his victory, it is unlikely to be enough to stop him following up.

The excellent recent form of his trainer only adds confidence to his claims.

Art Dzeko remains feasibly handicapped on the pick of his form and might be the answer to a tricky Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Handicap.

The five-year-old had a mark pushing 70 in the early part of his career with Tim Easterby, but a largely forgettable 2013 campaign saw him fall down the ratings and switch yards.

He failed to get seriously competitive on his first few appearances for Brian Baugh, but made the most of being given some relief by the assessor when snapping a near two-year losing run over this course and distance in February.

He was tailed off on his next start, but bounced back with a fair third in mid-March.

Art Dzeko is clearly not the most consistent of sprinters, but on his day he’s useful and a chance is taken that this will be one of his going days.

Carlisle keeps the flag flying for National Hunt racing, a track where Donald McCain rarely leaves without finding the target.

The Cholmondeley handler is expected to strike in the opening contest this time around as Supreme Asset aims to follow up a recent course and distance victory in the ApolloBet Enhanced Daily Racing Specials Novices’ Chase.

Tony McCoy gets the leg up, which can only enhance his chance.

SELECTIONS

CARLISLE: 2.20 Supreme Asset, 2.50 Hallmark Star, 3.20 Frank The Slink, 3.50 Irish By Name, 4.25 Omid, 4.55 Five Rivers, 5.25 Micky Fingers.

PONTEFRACT: 2.10 Life And Times, 2.40 MUNAASER (NAP), 3.10 Quiet Warrior, 3.40 Calculated Risk, 4.15 Ajman Bridge, 4.45 Danehill Revival, 5.15 Mash Potato.

SOUTHWELL: 2.00 Basil The Great, 2.30 Va Benny, 3.00 Red Invader, 3.30 Recession Proof, 4.05 Right Of Appeal, 4.35 Spitfire, 5.05 Art Dzeko.

DOUBLE: Munaaser and Right Of Appeal.

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