Sharvara to make it third time lucky with Ben steering!
Sharvara, journeyed a ‘million miles’ from Marlborough, is worth chancing again in an intriguing six-runner Novice Stakes over a mile of ‘good’ ground Hamilton this afternoon; Richard Hannon’s charge didn’t have ‘the rub of the green’ at Thirsk fifteen days ago when we napped the Kingman colt on the strength of an encouraging debut fifteen days earlier, also over seven furlongs.
Sometimes running back too quickly, with insufficient recovery-time at issue, is a reason for failing to replicate a previous effort but, if you remember, I ‘gambled’ on the moderate draw at the North Yorkshire course where a long left-handed bend throws out the wide runners; Sharvara was drawn 10, couldn’t have been worse!
Inexperience of stable apprentice Those Hammer-Hansen was also a contributing factor; there is no quarter asked, and none given, by the Northern ‘jocks’ on a gruelling circuit and Ben Curtis is an adequate replacement without doubt!
Once-raced Shadwell-owned Qitaal is a serious rival and comes out similarly on the TH; there is no sentiment in betting and I could so easily prefer the Mark Johnston runner but Sharvara deserves another chance and nous might come into the result. Strange irony is Ben will know all about ‘Johnno’s’ charge, mount of contract jockey, Dane O’Neill!
This really will be a fascinating opener and I’ll be interested to see how Ffos Las ‘winner’ (by promotion after a stewards’ enquiry!), Evocative Spark, copes with a penalty; Hugo Palmer isn’t making the long trip from Newmarket without good reason to this ‘stand-alone’ flat-racing fixture.
Rest of a seven-race card looks too difficult and so focus is switched to ‘good to firm’ Plumpton where Galata Bridge, a flat-race winner when trained by Sir Michael Stoute, looks a banker for ‘big-hitters’ in the eight-runner Maiden Hurdle over an extended two miles. This Golden Horn gelding is on an urgent retrieving mission!
Galata Bridge, backed into odds-on favouritism earlier this month, made a promising debut over Worcester mini-fences for Dr Richard Newland and Sam Twiston-Davies finishing second (of 12) to London Eye, beaten two lengths, registering a half-decent time-figure.
Over the same distance, in a five-runner ‘bumper’, Sister Sophie appeals under Nick Schofield to topple likely odds-on favourite Strensham Court, penalised for an emphatic success at Stratford; should be a cracker, I love ’em!
Selections, Hamilton, 1.45 Sharvara (e.w); Plumpton, 2.10 Galata Bridge; 5.10 Sister Sophie (e.w).
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019