Bryan Smart goes Trophy hunting at Doncaster with Nameitwhatyoulike

Thu 20 Jul 2017

Great St Wilfrid winner Nameitwhatyoulike begins his season in the Betway Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday.

Now an eight-year-old, Bryan Smart's sprinter took his form to a new level last summer, following up his valuable win at Ripon with victory in a Listed race at York.

He then finished seventh off a lofty mark of 106 in the Ayr Gold Cup and is likely to be aimed at all of the top handicaps again this campaign, as long as there is enough cut in the ground.

Smart said: "He's been an absolute superstar for us and he's as fit as I can get him at home without having had a run, obviously.

"He's as honest as the day is long. He was second in the consolation Great St Wilfrid two years ago and then went and won the main thing last year. That takes some doing, and then he won a Listed race.

"It was arguably a career-best in the Ayr Gold Cup, even with such a big weight. The trouble is with his style of racing from the front he's always there to be shot at by something with a turn of foot.

"It will be difficult on Saturday as he's carrying a penalty but we'll be aiming at all the big handicaps as long as there's cut in the ground. 

"You need to be rated as high as he is to guarantee a run in those big handicaps, so as long as there's cut in the ground he'll be running.

"It's not unusual for sprinters to reach their peak at six, seven and eight so hopefully there's a few more big days in him.

"It wouldn't surprise me if he had a break mid-season if the ground goes against him."

Nameitwhatyoulike must concede weight to all but one of his rivals, with the Stuart Williams-trained Swift Approval joining him at the head of the field.

Swift Approval won races at Deauville and Cologne on his final two appearances for Kevin Ryan last season before changing hands for 110,000 guineas.

The five-year-old made his debut for connections in the Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton earlier this month but trailed home last of 11 runners.

Williams said: "We're still learning about him and he got a bit of a bump at the start at Wolverhampton, so I'd just put a line through that, to be honest.

"He seems well in himself, but he has to carry a penalty on Saturday for winning a Listed race last year and he isn't that well-in with a few of the horses he's taking on.

"He'll be there to do his best and we'll see how he goes."

The highest-rated horse in the line-up is Richard Fahey's Birchwood, who carries the colours of Godolphin.

The son of Dark Angel has kept good company throughout his career to date, winning the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket as a two-year-old before competing with credit in the National Stakes at the Curragh and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland.

He found life tough last season, but did manage to win the Listed City Plate at Chester and was last seen finishing sixth in the Prix de la Foret.

Fahey, who also saddles Rene Mathis, said: "We're very happy with Birchwood and he looks a picture.

"He hasn't run over six furlongs since he was a two-year-old, but we're going back to basics with him. We'll start him off sprinting and see how we go.

"He's fit and well and we're looking forward to running him.

"Rene Mathis was out in Dubai earlier in the year and is in great order, so we said we'd let him take his chance as well."

Other contenders include Mick Channon's Mobsta and Absolutely So from Andrew Balding's stable.

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