Our racing expert is sweet on the chances of three handicappers at Newmarket this evening.
Brian Ellison is running LITTLE JO under a 6lb penalty picked up for an easy six-lengths success over this trip at Pontefract nine days ago and that’s unlikely to stop the four-year-old from following up. Having gone up 10lb for future races, he’s 7lb well-in here, when you also take Ben Robinson’s claim into account, and further improvement cannot be ruled out.
The key to him has been a wind operation and the drop back to a mile, with form figures of 121 over that trip for his current yard, and the vast majority of his 18 rivals are much harder to fancy on current form.
Saeed bin Suroor said of his MAJOR PARTNERSHIP after he’d landed the odds in a Thirsk novice 13 days ago that he would see what the handicapper did before running him again. Well, he must have been pleased with the son of Iffraaj’s opening mark of 93 as he had him entered in two handicaps on Friday, with this evening’s 1m contest against 13 rivals getting the nod.
His decision would no doubt have been swayed by the grey colts easy novice success on the July Course two starts back and, if he’s as good as I think he is, his handicap days are numbered. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up contesting Group races in the autumn.
Ian Williams runs two in the 1m2f handicap, a race that won’t take much winning despite the numbers (17 are set to go to post), and MATEWAN, the mount of Fran Berry, is much preferred over stablemate Lucky’s Dream. The latter is surely better than his mark of 59 and Andrea Atzeni is an interesting jockey booking, but the selection’s form is far more compelling.
After showing little in three starts as a juvenile, he reappeared in a Wolverhampton handicap (1m1/2f) 19 days ago and the money was down as he went off at just 3/1. His backers weren’t able to collect on that occasion but, with hindsight, he probably needed the outing to put an edge on him and the way he responded to his jockey’s urgings to grab third spot suggested he was worth another chance. Given he raced somewhat lazily, the application of first-time blinkers is not going to go amiss either.
All odds were correct at time of posting.