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Newbury and Nottingham previews: Abingdon set for Moore success

| 09.06.2016

David Metcalf | June 9, 2016

Abingdon the ace in the pack at Newbury

Abingdon can take the step up into Listed company in her stride to land the 1m 2f feature contest on today’s card at Newbury (15.05).

The Sir Michael Stoute trained filly shaped with bags of promise on her sole run as a juvenile when staying on from off the pace to finish a tenderly handled fourth of 10 to Diamonds Pour Moi in a decent 1m maiden at Kempton.

Abingdon duly built in that effort to make a winning return to action over course and distance last month when ridden by Ted Durcan.

After showing plenty of pace to race on the heels of the leaders, the daughter of Street Cry stayed on strongly inside the final furlong to get up close home and beat Ajaman Princess by 1/2 a length.

Abdingdon was well on top at the finish, and it was a most taking performance which suggested she needed keeping firmly onside.

The form also has a solid look to it as the third home Skiffle has since won a Listed contest at Goodwood and was thought good enough to be supplemented for the Investec Oaks in which she was sent off second-favourite but failed to fire in finishing a well-beaten fifth to Minding.

With Ryan Moore now taking over in the saddle, Abingdon can take this en route to better things.

Craven 1

Zubeida appeals on handicap debut

In the 1m 4f handicap (16.45), the lightly raced Zubeida looks decent value to open her account.

The Ismail Mohammed trained filly has only had three starts and caught the eye last time out when a not knocked about fourth of 10 to Atone over 1m 2f at Goodwood.

Zubeida showed enough to suggest she could prove a different proposition when going down the handicap route, and the daughter of Authorized has been allotted an opening mark of just 68.

The three-year-old is certainly bred to be better than that rating, and Mohammed has a very good record with unexposed types on handicap debut.

Zubeida should also appreciate the step up in trip, and the booking of James Doyle to do the steering is an eye-catching one which suggest connections mean business.

Newbury selections

14.00: Dourado
14.30: Side Hill
15.05: Abingdon (NAP)
15.40: Weld Al Emarat
16.10: Generalship
16.45: Zubeida (NB)
17.15: I’m Harry

Growl can roar to success at Nottingham

Growl has been knocking on the door of late and can capitalise on what looks a handy mark to score a deserved success in the 6f handicap on today’s card at Nottingham (15.25).

The gelding finished runner-up in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes as a juvenile when trained by Brian Meehan, and also ran very well last season in some hot contests.

They included a 6 1/2 length seventh of 12 in a Group 3 at Ascot and a 5 3/4 length fifth of 12 to Adaay in a Listed contest at Newbury in the early part of the campaign.

Growl’s form then tailed off, but the son of Oasis Dream has posted three solid efforts this season since joining trainer Richard Fahy which suggest he retains plenty of ability.

The four-year-old particularly caught the eye on his penultimate outing at Chester when keeping on to finish a 2 1/4 length fourth of 14 to Kimberella in a class 2 contest off a mark of 89.

Since then, the winner has gone on to finish an unlucky second in the Investec “Dash” at Epsom, and the sixth home Confessional has come out and won since.

That gives the form a strong look in the context of this lower grade class 3 contest and Growl is able to race in it off 2lb lower.

King George Sunday

Exotic Guest to cash-in on class drop

In the 6f handicap that follows (16.00), Exotic Guest can take advantage of a drop in the weights and ease in grade to land the spoils.

The Ruth Carr trained gelding bagged a couple of class 5 handicaps last summer, with the last of those successes coming at Newcastle off a mark of 66.

Exotic Guest was also far from disgraced when fifth of 14 at the same venue off 71, and is now able to race off a reduced rating just 63.

That is 3lb lower than when last successful, and the six-year-old now drops into class 6 company having shaped as if coming to hand in his last three starts in class 5 affairs.

It gives Exotic Guest major claims from a handicapping perspective, and this looks a golden opportunity for the son of Bahamian Bounty to get back on the scoresheet.

Nottingham selections

13.50: Tafaakhor
14.20: Perigee
14.50: Ullswater
15.25: Growl (NAP)
16.00: Exotic Guest (NB)
16.30: Potternello
17.05: Pure Fantasy
17.35: Highlife Dancer


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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.