Something for all tastes as jumps trainers target big staying pot
Handicaps at contrasting ends of the distance spectrum lead the action at Newbury with a 5f sprint and 2m2f marathon offering a combined £65,000 in prize-money.
The lion’s share of that pot is up for grabs in the £40,000 long-distance handicap at 4.05, where some familiar names from the jumps are well represented among a field of ten.
Golden Birthday was already a bumper and hurdles winner before landing three in a row on the Flat for Harry Fry last year and he caught the eye when an unlucky-in-running fifth on his return to action at Lingfield last month.
“He didn’t get much luck there but he’ll be all the better for the outing,” said Fry. “We get to have another go in handicap company off the same mark over a trip that will suit him better back on the turf.”
Stables better associated with jump racing are well represented, with Jukebox Jive (Anthony Honeyball) and Fred Winter eighth Look My Way (John Quinn), being joined by a pair from Alan King's yard, Coeur De Lion and Keep In Line.
“This has been the target for Coeur De Lion for some time,” said King. “He's better treated on the Flat than he is over hurdles and he should run well before heading for the Chester Cup consolation race.
“We need to see more from Keep In Line, who's been disappointing in two runs on the all-weather. He didn't run well on that surface for Godolphin so he could be suited by this return to turf and step up in trip.”
Heading the weights is Cape Cova, formerly with John Gosden but now under the care of Mick Appleby.
“He was disappointing at Musselburgh but the ground was atrocious,” said Appleby. “He ran a blinder first time for me at Newcastle and if can repeat that he won’t be far away. The better ground will suit him.”
Caspian Prince stars in fast show
Popular sprinter Caspian Prince makes his second start for Appleby in the 5f handicap at 3.35 and a first win for his new yard would make Appleby the sixth trainer to saddle the nine-year-old to success in Britain.
“He didn’t run too bad at Musselburgh but the ground was too heavy for him and he’s come on for it,” said the trainer. “He’s got loads of speed and I’d expect him to go close.”
A Momentofmadness, already on the scoresheet at Kempton this month, is arguably the one to beat in what looks likely to be a keenly contested eight-runner handicap.
“He won a strong race at Kempton and I think that was his best performance,” said his trainer Charlie Hills. “He'd won the same race 12 months earlier and then didn't win on turf, but he was a little unlucky at Glorious Goodwood.
"He's a very smart horse and, if he gets a good break, he's hard to catch.”
Worth keeping an eye on
Hills runs Chesham Stakes fourth Bartholomeu Dias in what usually proves to be an informative 1m2f conditions race at 4.35.
Incredibly, the mighty Enable was beaten by stablemate Shutter Speed in this race last year, before a stellar season that included three Oaks wins and success in the King George at Ascot and the Arc at Chantilly.
Joining Bartholomeu Dias among six runners this time is Derby entry Bombyx.
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