Perhaps the best horse in Europe, Baaeed, returns in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday but he’s priced up accordingly and will not pay for my Saturday night takeaway. So I am looking at some northern handicappers running later in the day to land the Yankee.
4.05 Thirsk: Tinto
A move to Michael Dods, who has a yard full of good sprint handicappers, look a good one. His back-form includes a placed effort at Group Three level and he could well prove to be a bargain at £21,000 (I am slightly surprised he is not running under The Horsewatchers banner given this profile).
He ran an encouraging race on his first appearance for the yard and would have been closer with a clear run through in the closing stages. He was still running at Listed level at the end of 2020 and last September ran third in a 0-105 at Ascot.
If he has taken positively to his new surroundings - and the signs are that he has - then this 0-95 represents a step down in grade and he should be able to take advantage soon. Jockey Connor Beasley is in even better form than the trainer at present.
5.11 Thirsk: So Grateful
The booking of Paul Mulrennan for this modest maiden sprinter takes the eye and So Grateful looks poised to break his duck in a race devoid of progressive types.
So Grateful returned after six months off last time and ran a very encouraging race to be second. He has been much higher in the weights previously and has run the odd decent race.
He should have probably won but for doing too much too soon under a 7lb claimer last season and has largely been ridden by claimers and, so Mulrennan should make a big difference. The combination are well-drawn and should be in a good position throughout.
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5.20 Newmarket: Rebel At Dawn
Karl Burke has his sprinters in great form and Rebel At Dawn can provide the yard with another success. The four-year-old seems to have been running himself into form this season, stepping up notably on his reappearance with a good effort at Doncaster last time out.
He doesn’t have to lead to run well - and will struggle to win any early battle with super-fast Just Glamorous (who is making his seasonal debut from an out of form yard) - but should get a good tow from that horse before hopefully pushing on from the dip.
He ran one of his very best races on his only previous start at Newmarket, so a solid run is on the cards.
5.45 Thirsk: Diamond Haze
Another Michael Dods-trained handicapper that looks poised to run well after a strong reappearance effort.
Diamond Haze’s past three runs at Thirsk have yielded a win and two second places, so he clearly runs this course well. From his draw in stall 3, and with a front-runner drawn on his inside, he should be able to sit just off the lead. Off his lowest handicap mark for a while, he could be another at this track for Connor Beasley.
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