Beverley and Warwick previews: Arab Poet handicapped to strike


David Metcalf | April 20, 2016

Arab Poet holds all the aces at Beverley

Arab Poet can cash-in on what looks a lenient mark to make a winning reappearance in the 7f handicap at Beverley (14.50).

The Sir Michael Stoute trained colt showed progressive form in four runs as a juvenile, including when a cracking second of 14 to Massaat in a decent maiden at Leicester.

Although no match for the easy 3 3/4 length winner, Arab Poet ran on strongly after being slowly away and Massaat subsequently finished an excellent second to Air Force Blue in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes to be rated 116.

It was a highly promising effort given how the race panned out, and Arab Poet went on to round off the campaign with a smooth 2 3/4 length success at Lingfield.

The three-year-old has been allotted an opening mark of 87 on the back of that victory, and that makes the son of Poet’s Voice look potentially thrown-in on his run behind Massaat.

Arab Poet also hails from a yard that has made a bright start to the new season and, with Ryan Moore in the saddle, can take this en route to better things.

Alphabetical Order poised to land hat-trick

In the 1m 4f handicap (15.10), Alphabetical Order can defy a rise in the weights to land the hat-trick.

The gelding was a dual winner over hurdles for Tim Vaughan in 2014, and has shown improved form on the level since joining David O’Meara and having his attention switched to handicaps.

After scoring in good style on the first of those at Redcar, Alphabetical Order overcome a slow start to follow-up in game style at Doncaster when beating Bertie Moon by a short-head.

The eight-year-old has been hit with a further 5lb rise for that victory, but is clearly thriving and may have even more to offer.

Alphabetical Order is also proven on the ground and comes from a yard that has a healthy strike rate with it’s runners at the Yorkshire venue.

Beverley selections:

13.50: Seafront
14.20: Ponty Royale
14.50: Arab Poet (NAP)
15.20: Alphabetical Order (NB)
15.50: Nietzsche
16.20: Jacbequick
16.50: Carenot

The Eaglehaslanded can swoop to success at Warwick

The Eaglehaslanded scored in terrific style last time out and can make light of a penalty to follow-up in the 3m 1f handicap hurdle on a competitive card at Warwick (15.10).

The Paul Nicholls trained gelding travelled strongly throughout in mid-division before making smooth headway to challenge at the last and stretch clear to beat Sir Ivan by six lengths in a competitive 19-runner class 2 contest at Cheltenham off a mark of 125.

It was a most taking performance, and the six-year-old clearly relished the better ground. Judged on the manner of that victory The Eaglehaslanded looks ahead of the assessor and one to keep onside.

It’s no surprise that connections have decided to turn the son of Milan out quickly under a 7lb penalty, as The Eaglehaslanded is due to race off 137 in future engagements and that makes him 5lb well-in at the weights.

Band Of Blood can cash-in on class drop

The Eaglehaslanded also now drops back down into class 3 company, and that is going to make him very tough to beat if performing to the same level as at Cheltenham.

In the 3m 5f handicap chase (16.10), the dangerously well-treated Band Of Blood looks decent value to score an overdue success now eased in grade.

The gelding had some useful form to his name when trained in Ireland by Mouse Morris, including when fourth to Valseur Lido in a Grade 1 contest at Fairyhouse.

Band Of Blood also ran a cracker at the same venue when fourth off 28 to Thunder And Roses in last year’s Irish Grand National off a rating and of 133, and is now able to race off a career-low chase mark of 126.

That gives the eight-year-old major claims from a handicapping perspective, and Band Of Blood comes into the contest on the back of three decent efforts since joining Dr Richard Newland.

In the first of those the son of King’s Theatre stuck to the task well to finish third to The Last Samuri in a class 2 contest at Doncaster.

Band Of Blood was then far from disgraced when eight of 23 to Un Temps Pour Tout in the class Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and also ran well to finish fifth of 14 in the same grade at Aintree when last seen in action.

This class 3 contest represents a big drop in class and is by far the easiest task that Band Of Blood has faced since joining Dr Newland.

Warwick selections:

13.40: Sporting Milan
14.10: El Bandit
14.40: Drumlee Lad
15.10: The Eaglehaslanded (NAP)
15.40: Stilletto
16.10: Band Of Blood (NB)
16.40: Magic Bullet
17.15: On The Bridge


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