Our racing expert marks your card for the Newmarket action.
The 7f fillies’ handicap looks very competitive but Ed Vaughan’s CHOCO BOX has more going for her than most and might have got in lightly on her first venture into handicap company. Certainly a mark of 83 seems fair when you consider that Aim Of Artemis, who beat her a length into second on her racecourse debut here in June, is now rated 94, while the form of her subsequent fifth, again on the July Course, has worked out extremely well.
But it’s her most recent performance when reappearing at Yarmouth last month that suggests she can pay her way in handicaps as she cruised to an easy victory under Jamie Spencer, who stays loyal, and there should be more to come after just three starts.
While he lacks the experience of his six rivals, it would be no surprise if the beautifully bred PRINCE EIJI proved up to winning the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes on just his second start. A 2,600,000gns yearling and half-brother to a couple of smart winners, he certainly looked the part when landing an above average Ascot maiden on his debut, showing a willing attitude in the process of pulling clear with one other. This is a big step up in class of course but he holds a couple of Group 1 entries next month, which tells you he’s highly regarded, and he should come on plenty for that run, with his in-form trainer saying as much in a recent Stable Tour.
Of his rivals, Cardini took six attempts to get off the mark, and that was in a nursery, but he did finish third (albeit a remote one) behind Too Darn Hot last time and a similar effort may be enough for second spot. The rest have all had their limitations exposed.
SAWWAAH looks the one to be on in the 1m handicap now that his sights have been lowered. His trainer Owen Burrows had him in the Group 1 St James’s Palace back in the spring, but a Lingfield defeat in May put paid to that and he could only finish a well beaten sixth in a novice run when last seen out on the July Course here in June. I’m inclined to blame that on fast ground as he looked far more at home on good ground (forecast) when landing the Wood Ditton (1m) on his reappearance at the Craven meeting, which shows he can go well fresh.
With his stable in flying form – five winners from 16 runners (31%) in the last fortnight – and off what looks a very opening handicap mark of 86, he must surely go close.
All odds were correct at time of posting.