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Hamilton and Lingfield previews: Northern Sky can collect for Keatley

David Metcalf | May 25, 2016

Northern Sky can open account at Hamilton

Irish trainer Adrian Keatley has a great record with his UK raiders and Northern Sky can provide him with another winner in the 1m 1f handicap at Hamilton today (17.15).

The gelding failed to make an impact in three hot maidens, including one won by leading Investec Derby hope US Army Ranger, but put in a much improved effort last time out on handicap debut when fourth of 14 to Full Court Press at Roscommon.

Northern Sky came from off the pace and stayed on strongly after being forced to switch left a furlong from home to be beaten just 1 1/2 lengths, and it was an effort which suggested he would be winning sooner rather than later.

The form of the race also looks strong in the context of this low grade class 6 affair, and Northern Sky is able to race in it off an unchanged mark of 52.

That looks more than exploitable if the three-year-old builds on his latest effort, and the stable could not be in better form.

Keatley has saddled five winners from his last 10 runners, including Jet Setting to land the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and is a young trainer with a big future who places his horses to maximum effect.

RACING

Oriental Splendour weighted to strike

In the 5f handicap (15.05), Oriental Splendour can take advantage of a drop in the weights to bag a first career success.

The gelding is yet to get his head in front in 11 starts, but did post some solid efforts to make the frame last season when trained by Roger Charlton.

They included when runner-up twice at Bath off a mark of 68, and Oriental Splendour is now able to race off 1lb lower.

It gives the four-year-old major claims from a handicapping perspective, and the son of Strategic Price comes into the contest on the back of two promising efforts since joining Ruth Carr.

Oriental Splendour particularly caught the eye in the last of those at Beverley when staying on to finish a never nearer sixth of 12 to China Excels without being unduly knocked about, and should now be spot on to do himself justice.

The yard is also in decent nick at present, and from a good draw in stall 11 everything looks in place for a huge run.

Hamilton selections

14.00: Bourbonisto
14.30: Sophistica
15.05: Oriental Splendour (NB)
15.40: Millefiori
16.15: Rosamaria
16.45: Where’s Tiger
17.15: Northern Sky (NAP)

Commanche on the warpath at Lingfield

Commanche shaped really well last time out and can cash-in on a drop in the weights to get back to winning ways in the 6f handicap on today’s card at Lingfield (14.20).

The Chris Dwyer trained seven year-old is a tough sort who has won seven of his 66 starts, with the last of those successes coming at Leicester 10 months ago when scoring by 1 1/4 length under jockey Silvestre De Sousa off a mark of 67.

Commanche got put up to 71 for that victory and failed to make the frame in his next eight starts.

However, that has resulted in a drop in the weights and Commanche is now able to race off a reduced rating of just 60.

That makes the veteran dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form, and he comes into the race on the back of a much improved effort when third in a decent claimer at Windsor nine days ago.

If building on that Commanche looks weighted to take all the beating, and other pluses are that he has bagged a great draw in stall 16 and once again has the services of SDS in the saddle.

RACING

Lots to like about Felix Leiter

Trainer Karl Burke has his team in fine form at present and Felix Leiter looks decent value to defy top weight and provide him with another winner in the 7f handicap (16.00).

The gelding was a triple winner as a juvenile, and although he failed to get his head in front last season Felix Leiter did post some very solid efforts to make the frame in competitive contests.

They include a fine third to The Tin Man over 6f at Ascot, and a head second of 22 to Westwood Hoe at Doncaster over this afternoon’s trip.

Felix Leiter has also shaped well in two runs this season, and hinted that his time was near when finishing a one length third of 15 to Fieldsman at Newmarket 11 days ago.

The four-year-old attempted to make all and stuck to the task well once headed, and although now 1lb higher in the weights the form looks strong in the context of this contest.

Felix Leiter also has the services in the saddle of promising claimer Clifford Lee who takes 7lb off his back, and if allowed an easy lead up front is going to be a tough nut to crack at a track which should suit his run-style.

Lingfield selections

13.50: Diable d’Or
14.20: Commanche (NAP)
14.50: Make Music
15.25: Here’s Two
16.00: Felix Leiter (NB)
16.35: Barren Brook
17.05: Tenzing Norgay
17.35: Final Choice

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