Beautifully bred gelding Kazawi can flourish on handicap debut
Flavius Titus looked a colt with potential when getting off the mark at the third attempt at Kempton in November and could be hard to beat on his handicap debut off a mark of 82.
Roger Varian’s colt disappointed when sent off at 3-1 on his debut and was given plenty of time to recover from that.
He was not seen again until contesting a 7f maiden at Doncaster in October when he couldn’t live with an impressive winner but gave a much-improved effort to battle on for second.
The penny finally dropped for him on his third and final run at two as he showed a nice turn of foot to land a good novice race. Once again he had to battle to see off a rival in the closing stages but he ran out a cosy length winner despite his jockey dropping his whip.
Charlie Appleby has his string in tremendous form and looks to hold strong claims with recent winner Night Story.
The gelded son of Shamardal didn’t race at two and was sent off at 12-1 for a 1m2f novice race at this track last month, but he ran much better than his odds implied as he was only just beaten by a better-fancied stablemate.
Night Story returned to Lingfield a fortnight later over an additional quarter-mile and showed plenty of stamina to win going away. He may not have beaten much but he clearly enjoyed this trip and looks a colt who should progress again.
The going at Leopardstown will be horrible, which may favour the more battle-hardened older horses who have shown their best form on bad ground.
Brendan Brackan and Canary Row both come into that category, but preference is given to Fozzy Stack’s dual Group 3 winner Onenightidreamed, who comes here off the back of a decent effort when sixth in the Irish Lincolnshire on the opening day of the turf season at Naas.
He has shown his best form in April and was sent off favourite for this race last season, but the soft ground he encountered there probably wasn’t bad enough. It was still a decent effort to finish third.
The seven-year-old, a course-and-distance winner, comes into the race in better form this time having got closer in the Irish Lincoln than 12 months earlier, while Stack has made his usual fast start to the season.
Roger Charlton’s beautifully bred four-year-old Kazawi showed enough in four starts in maidens last year to suggest he can be competitive off a mark of 80 on his handicap debut.
Kazawi has to overcome a disappointing final run when turned over at odds-on over this trip on soft ground at Lingfield in July, but he had shown gradual improvement up to that point and has been gelded since then.
He was slow to come to hand and didn’t race at two, but he is a full brother to the brilliant Al Kazeem, who didn’t reach his full potential until he was five, so he should be able to kick on from here.
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