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Barnet Fair and Taajub renew rivalry in £100k Sprint at Ascot

Barnet Fair bids to win the opening Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap for the second year running at Ascot on Saturday. Twelve months ago he was driven out by Kieren Fox to get the better of Taajub and Zero Money by a neck in a pulsating finish.

Taajub and Zero Money are back again and have a 6lbs pull at the weights with Barnet Fair. Taajub’s chance has to be respected having finished 1st, 2nd and 2nd on three visits to the course in 2012. He also showed signs of a return to form at Sandown last time when not given a hard time behind Doctor Parkes.

A repeat win in this valuable race has been the target all season for Barnet Fair and he showed himself to be in flying form on his last start at Musselburgh. He didn’t get the clearest of runs in the Scottish Sprint Cup but closed rapidly in the final furlong to finish third, just a length behind Kingsgate Choice.

He can be quite a handful before his races and got loose on this course before running second to Taajub earlier last summer. He has since gone down early to the start and Fox knows how to get the best out of the gelding.

The Musselburgh race featured several of these including Racy (2nd), Long Awaited (5th) and Face The Problem (7th). Racy was switched to the outside and had a clear run to the line whilst Long Awaited had to weave his way through horses.

The top weight Move In Time has been trying his luck in group company and has been placed at Group 3 level. He was far from disgraced when fourth behind Sole Power at Royal Ascot and a repeat of that form certainly give him every chance.

Masamah was just touched off over six furlongs at Haydock last weekend but is far better at this trip whilst Robert Cowell’s Goldream is lightly raced and has room for improvement. Ahtoug returns from Dubai and is another with plenty of scope whilst Steps and Ancient Cross have been running well recently.