Arab Spring holds all the aces
The progressive Arab Spring is the red-hot favourite to complete the hat-trick in the 1m 4f handicap at York today (2.15), and Coral are offering a special enhanced price of 5/2 about him doing it.
The price is available to all customers on bets placed via website, mobile and telephone – up to a maximum stake of £10.
The Sir Michael Soute trained colt missed the whole of last season after making a highly promising debut when finishing second of 14 to Elaayed in a Newmarket maiden.
However, the the son of Monsun has quickly made up for lost time in winning both his starts this season in impressive fashion.
After having little difficulty landing a 1m 2f maiden at Kemton, Arab Spring made a mockery of his opening handicap mark of 85 last time out at Doncaster.
After racing close-up, he led on the bit a furlong from home before quickening clear in the blink of an eye to beat Jazz Master with tons more in hand than the winning margin of 2 1/2 lengths suggests.
It was a performance which suggested Arab Spring had the potential to be far better than a handicapper, and an 11lb rise in the weights is unlikely to stop him going in again if that is the case.
The step up to 1m 4f this afternoon should also suit, and with the prospect of plenty improvement to come Arab Spring looks impossible to oppose.
Of his rivals, Chancery and Saptapadi look the most interesting.
The former is trained by the in-form David O’Meara and developed into a useful handicapper last season when winning twice.
The last of those successes came over course and distance off a mark of 91, and the six-year-old now races off 6lb higher.
That suggests that Chancery has it all to do under top weight against a progressive type like Arab Spring, but the son of Street Cry shaped as if coming back to form when runner-up last time out and looks sure to give it his best shot.
Saptapadi is a frustrating sort who is capable of running a big race if in the mood.
The gelding only has one win to his name, with that success coming at Donaster back in 2010 when trained by Sir Michael Stoute.
The son of Indian Ridge went on to finish third in a Group 3 off a rating of 106 and also finished a fair fourth in a similar grade contest off 109 in 2011, and has often shaped better than the bare result in several contests since joining Brian Ellison.
Saptapadi now gets into this contest off a career-low mark of just 88, and that should enable him to get competitive despite his advancing years.