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Beverley and Brighton Preview: Sunlit Waters ready to sparkle

| 21.06.2016

David Metcalf | June 21, 2016

Sunlit Waters weighted to strike at Beverley

Sunlit Waters looks decent value to cash-in on what looks a lenient mark and open her account in the 1m 2f handicap on today’s card at Beverley (16.30).

The Eve Johnson Houghton trained filly shaped with plenty of promise in two runs as a juvenile, most notably in the last of those when fifth of 10 to Diamonds Pour Moi over 1m at Kempton.

After being held-up, Sunlit Waters did good late work under tender handling to be nearest at the finish and beaten six lengths.


The winner is a useful sort now rated 95, the third home Pure Fantasy sluiced up on handicap debut off 71 and is now rated 78, and the fourth home Abingdon has scored twice since – including in Listed company – to be rated 100.

That is very strong form, and makes an opening mark of just 63 for Sunlit Waters looks very exploitable.

The daughter of New Approach also shaped better than the bare result suggests on return to action when 11th in a warm maiden at Ascot, and that should have blown away the cobwebs and put her spot on for this.

Sunlit Waters appeals as the type who should come into her own now going down the handicap route, and this is a weak class 6 contest in which she looks potentially thrown-in at the weights on her Kempton run.

Course specialist Fire ready to burn bright

Relight My Fire has a tremendous record at the track and can further enhance it with victory in the 7f handicap (14.30).

The Tim Easterby trained gelding is a four-time course and distance winner, and in the last of those stayed on strongly from off the pace to score by 1 1/4 lengths off a mark of 68.

RELIGHT MY FIRE with D Allan wins Handicap stakes at Beverley 23-6-15.

Relight My Fire went on to finish an excellent second off 73, and is now able to race off 66. That is 2lb lower than when last victorious and gives the six-year-old major claims from a handicapping perspective.

Relight My Fire also comes into the race on the back of en eye-catching staying on sixth of 11 to All You at this track on return to action when tenderly handled, and was also far from disgraced next when fourth at Wetherby next time-up when short of room.

Although not at his best last time out when fifth over course and distance, Relight My Fire was poorly positioned and is reported to have lost two shoes so a line can easily be put through that effort.

Beverley selections:

14.00: Steel Helmet
14.30: Relight My Fire (NB)
15.00: Totally Magic
15.30: Saint Thomas
16.00: Final
16.30: Sunlit Waters (NAP)
17.00: Anieres Boy
17.30: Brorocco

Porte Lairge a Brighton beauty

Port Lairge has a good record at Brighton and, with underfoot conditions to suit, can further enhance it with victory in the 7f handicap there today (17.15).

The John Gallagher trained gelding is a three-time course and distance winner, and in the last of those successes 10 months ago bolted up by seven lengths on good-to-soft ground off a mark of 60.

Port Lairge went on to run solid races to finish third and fourth of rating of 67 and 70, and is now able to race off 65.


That makes the six-year-old nicely treated on the pick of his form and he comes into the contest on the back of a solid fourth at Chesptow on quick ground.

It was an effort which suggested Port Lairge was coming to the boil, and he will appreciate the return to softer underfoot conditions.

The son of Pastoral Pursuits has a 33 per cent strike rate on ground good-to-soft or softer (three wins from nine runs), and everything looks in place for Port Lairge to bet back on the scoresheet.

Wahaab can collect for in-form Hughes

Trainer Richard Hughes has his team in fine form and Wahaab can capitalise on a career-low mark to give him another winner in the 6f handicap (14.45).

The gelding was a smart juvenile when trained by Richard Hannon, winning on debut at Goodwood before finishing seventh of 15 to War Command in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes.

Newbury Thursday

Things haven’t gone to plan since but, having initially been rated 91, the five-year-old is now able to race off just 57.

That gives him a huge chance on the pick of his form in this class 6 affair, and Wahaab comes into the contest on the back of an eye-catching effort when third at Salisbury under inexperienced 7lb claimer Nicola Currie in a more competitive class 5 affair.

Wahaab stayed on well to be beaten just 1 1/2 lengths and would have benefitted from stronger handling, and now gets the professional services of Shane Kelly in the saddle.

Another plus is that Hughes has a strike rate of 37.5 per cent with his runners at the seaside venue in the past 12 months, and this looks a golden opportunity for Wahaab to score a long overdue success.

Brighton selections:

14.15: Fair Power
14.45: Wahaab (NB)
15.15: Ginzan
15.45: Roly Tricks
16.15: Dltripleseven
16.45: Ashford Island
17.15: Port Lairge (NAP)
17.45: Flag Of Glory


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.