3.20 7f Class 3 Handicap – Motafaawit 3/1
Won a nice novice race at Leicester on debut beating a well bred now rated 96 colt Nayef Road comfortably before just getting touched off to well bred Legends Of War, Motafaawit could of easily won if not running too green and had his eyes on the prize, the winner since was just a head runner up in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York boosting the form and was rated 110 after that race. When last seen Motafaawit ran in a conditions at Chelmsford, while not setting the world a light on synthetics, he finished a respectable 3rd and was given a mark of 90, considering he was over 3lb better than 96 rated Nayef Road and on par with 110 rated Legends If War, then his rating of 90 is very weak and exposable if running up to that mark after a long lay off. He has also had a gelding operation which looks like it will help his concentration plus his breeding says he’ll progress well as a 3yo. Jim Crowley is back onboard and is in excellent recent form.
3.30 2m4f Class 2 Handicap Chase – Bigmartre 9/2
This gelding really appreciates fast ground with 5 of his 6 wins recorded when there’s good in the going description from 10 runs, a huge 50% strike rate, he won a Grade 2 Novice Chase around this time last year over this trip, he’s since struggled in some hot races, the majority over sharp 2 mile trips, tried with headgear and on ground he doesn’t relish, today he’s dropped down to a handy 140 mark with a further 3lb claimer Page Fuller taking the reins, he’s back on good ground which is key, also a big plus is a return to a flat course where all 6 of his wins have been on, he races over his optimum trip and the headgear is removed, all looks set for a big run today.
5.10 2m4f Class 4 Novices Handicap Hurdle – Farocco 22/1
Not the most straightforward geldings, but a lot of signs says he’s ready to strike on just his 2nd handicap run. He was 2nd last summer over this C&D on good ground sandwiched between 2 previous winners both rated in the 120’s, he built on that effort 2 runs after when a close 4th in a hot race for the grade behind Aye Right whose now a 136 rated hurdler, in 2nd was High Jinx rated 135 and in 3rd was Falak rated 123. Farocco was given a mark of 115 after that form which looked weak on evidence, however he since struggled in novice company which seen his mark tumble quickly 13lbs down to 102. He shaped well when last seen the end of last month over a sharp 2 miles crying out for further on his first handicap bow, now back over a more suitable trip on a dangerous mark, the ground to suit and back on a course which seen his best, he looks a good bet in a weak race.
Russell Blair Racing