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Friday 6th September

Fri 06 September 2019

Good morning from Newmarket. After a very quiet few days we are looking forward to a pair of interesting runners this afternoon in the famous blue and white Shadwell silks.

Our first port of call is the seven-furlong 0-85 handicap at Ascot at 3.05, where Shawaaheq attempts to build on his recent Lingfield success. A three-year-old son of Tamayuz, he is not over big but is proving to be a tough and hardy competitor. He was second at Leicester in a decent novice on his comeback this season, before winning decisively at Beverley next time out. He then missed the break a little over seven–furlongs at Chelmsford, running on fast and late to take a slightly unfortunate second, before gaining ample compensation when stepped up to a mile at Lingfield.

So we drop back to seven-furlongs again today, which is a slight note of concern, but it is hoped that the relatively stiff test at Ascot will play to his strengths. He is also up in grade this afternoon and taking on a competitive field of accomplished handicappers. So there are significant barriers to overcome today, but Shawaaheq has responded to every test he has been set since his racecourse debut last November and his habit of only just doing enough seems to keep the handicapper at arm’s length. Let’s hope he can continue to do so and go well once again this afternoon. Jim Crowley rides. 

Our second runner, the Sir Prancealot colt Aysar, does not possess such an obvious chance on the book, having finished well beaten on both starts to date. However, there are reasons to believe that he is far from a lost cause just yet, and he can hopefully take a step forward in the six-furlong two-year-old novice at 3.50 at Newcastle.

On his racecourse debut at this venue in June he was plainly outpaced and could not go the five-furlong gallop, before showing a little bit more in a warm race at Newmarket on his only subsequent outing. There have been winners to emerge from quite a way back in the race, and after being slightly hampered at the start, Aysar certainly showed a bit more zest than he had on debut. I would expect him to step forward considerably again from his second to third runs, and hopefully this is a good opportunity for him to show more. The Roger Varian trained favourite Ascension looked extremely smart when winning at Salisbury a few weeks ago, and he will almost certainly be very hard to beat, but we are looking for genuine signs of encouragement from our horse nonetheless. Hollie Doyle will be in the saddle. 

Best wishes,


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