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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
7:00am Monday 14th April 2014 in Sport
Colonel Mak is a pretty confident pick to do the business in the Riu Palace Meloneras Handicap at Pontefract.
The David Baron-trained sprinter has had his issues over the years, but a clear run could see him land a few nice prizes this summer.
This six-furlong affair offers a good opportunity in which to make a firm statement of intent.
Colonel Mak’s last visit to Pontefract was certainly not without its merits as he absolutely hosed up by four lengths in a tight-looking handicap.
One blip in the Silver Cup at Ayr aside, the gelded son of Makbul subsequently held his form really well with fine placed efforts in better races than this at Newmarket and at Hamilton.
Colonel Mak must overcome a 203-day absence, but he has gone well fresh in the past and is still on the same mark off which he gave the capable Hopes N Dreams a run for his money at Hamilton.
Barron’s inmate will also be especially suited if there is cut in the ground.
Al Senad should be followed in the Subscribe Online At racinguk.com Maiden Stakes.
Peter Chapple-Hyam’s horses have been quite forward during the early throes of the campaign, and this one looks quite a nice prospect.
A half-brother to the well-regarded Telwar, Al Senad looked smart on his debut over six furlongs at Yarmouth last September when third behind South African challenger Wednaan, who has since finished third in a Meydan Group Three.
The runner-up that day, Silver Treasure, has also done his bit for the form by finishing a close-up third in a Listed race in France.
Al Senad seems certain to get a longer trip in time, but he has the right profile to make an honourable fist of things upon his return to the fray.
Fade To Grey is a credible ally at what might be a chunky price for the Peter Reek 70th Birthday Pontefract Marathon Handicap.
Shaun Lycett’s veteran has not yet won a Flat race on the turf, but his best all-weather form in staying handicaps offers a fair bit of optimism.
Fade To Grey readily won a Kempton handicap a couple of years ago off a 4lb lower mark and while he has hardly yanked up too many trees this winter, it is interesting that Silvestre de Sousa is back at the helm.
De Sousa rides Pontefract better than anyone and did the steering when the 10-year-old gelding last visited the winner’s enclosure.
Norse Star should be ready to rock and roll at Windsor.
Sylvester Kirk’s three-year-old colt looked most subdued as a juvenile, but he made big strides in a Kempton maiden last month, when a narrow second behind yet another John Gosden-trained winner.
The son of Norse Dancer was unsurprisingly in his element over a longer trip and has been given a pretty appealing mark of 71 for his handicap bow in the Windsor Vehicle Leasing wvl.co.uk Handicap.
There is more to come from this powerfully-made individual.
The obligatory Gosden winner should arrive in the Unibet - By Players For Players Handicap courtesy of Blessington.
This four-year-old is hardly well treated, but he has been doing well enough on the all-weather in the close season and should be seen in a more favourable light now he returns to the turf.
Any ease in the ground would not go amiss, either.
Bespoke Lady’s stout bumper form must surely put her bang in the frame for top honours in the Riding Mares’ Maiden Hurdle at Hexham.
HEXHAM: 2.00 Pamak D’Airy, 2.30 Short Takes, 3.00 Howwoulduno, 3.30 War On, 4.00 Bespoke Lady, 4.30 Current Exchange, 5.00 Shades Of Midnight.
PONTEFRACT: 2.10 Horsforth, 2.40 Zeyran, 3.10 COLONEL MAK (NAP), 3.40 Fade To Grey, 4.10 Al Senad, 4.40 Thorpe Bay.
TRAMORE: 4.35 Wood Breizh, 5.05 You Can’t Catch Me, 5.35 Foolish Notions, 6.05 Vasco Du Mee, 6.35 Urban Gale, 7.05 Easyondeye, 7.35 Oscar’swan.
WINDSOR: 2.20 Sparbrook, 2.50 Ubetterbegood, 3.20 Marmalady, 3.50 Ridgeway Storm, 4.20 Blessington, 4.50 Australia Day, 5.20 Norse Star.
DOUBLE: Colonel Mak and Al Senad.
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