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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

'Castleacre has bags of speed and sprinting is her game'

Karl Burke: trained winner of National Stakes with Havana Grey
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1.50 Newmarket Handicap | Class 2 | 6f | 3yo | ITV4/RUK

A victory to match last year's winner Aclaim would further enhance this handicap's reputation, and there are some interesting runners lining up.

Having won this race 12 months ago, the Martyn Meade-trained Aclaim went on to win a further three times last season, culminating in a Group 2 at Newmarket.

Several of the field were considered good enough to be tried in Pattern company last year, but arguably Brian Ellison's runner Orewa has achieved the most so far, winning a valuable sales race at the Curragh when defeating subsequent Two-Year-Old Trophy winner Wick Powell.


Since 2007, only three winners have carried more than 9st to victory.

Market fancies

It has paid to concentrate on those towards the head of the market, with only one winner in the last ten years returning a double-figure SP.

What they say

Karl Burke, trainer of Medici Banchiere
He is a lovely horse and one we really liked last year. He ran a good race in the July Stakes when he wasn't 100 per cent, and we never really got him back after that. We hope he is a black-type horse but there aren't many options at this time of year and this handicap looked a good place to start.

Charlie Hills, trainer of Hilario
I think he's got some pretty decent form and I've been pleased enough with his work, although I'm sure he’ll come on for the run.

Hugo Palmer, trainer of Castleacre
She is dropping down by a furlong but she has bags of speed and sprinting is going to be her game. She has done well over the winter and seems in good form.

Owen Burrows, trainer of Akhlaaq
He's a horse we like and he has done well over the winter. He did well to win on debut, then things didn't go to plan at Doncaster. He was too keen and didn't like the ground.

Mark Johnston, trainer of Rich And Famous and Storm Cry
Rich And Famous probably lost the race at York before the start when he got very upset and sweated up. He has been gelded since and we’re hoping that better behaviour might make all the difference. Storm Cry was upped to seven furlongs last time and is back to six here. We could be on the short side because pedigree would suggest further but she is proven at the trip. Hopefully it won’t be too sharp for her and she is in good form.

She has bags of speed and sprinting is going to be her game. She has done well over the winter and seems in good form
E.W. Terms
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