Ludlow preview: Baraka De Thaix tough to beat
David Metcalf | January 6, 2016
Baraka De Thaix looks to hold outstanding claims of opening his account in the 2m 5f maiden hurdle at Ludlow today (14.30) now eased in grade.
The gelding had some smart bumper form in France when winning once, and shaped with bags of promise when third to Golden Doyen in a Grade 2 contest on hurdles debut at Cheltenham after joining trainer David Pipe.
Baraka De Thaix held every chance at the last until weakening close home to be beaten just 2 lengths by the now 138-rated winner.
The runner-up Hargam is a really smart sort who went on to score twice and finish third in the Triumph Hurdle and is now rated 157, and the form has a rock solid look to it in the context of this contest.
Baraka De Thaix has failed to build on that run in five subsequent outings, including in the Triumph Hurdle, and it’s fair to say that his two efforts this season have been underwhelming.
However, they have come in a competitive class 3 handicap at Cheltenham and a class 4 novice hurdle at Ffos Las, and this class 5 affair represents the easiest task the five-year-old has faced.
Baraka De Thaix’s official rating of 119 sets a high standard in this grade, and a reproduction of anything like his run behind Golden Doyen is going to make the son of Dom Alco very hard to beat.
Take The Mick can step up
Take The Mick returned to form when runner-up last time out and can go one better to land the 3m 1f handicap chase (14.00).
The Venetia Williams trained gelding revels in the mud and was last successful when slamming Goodtoknow by 14 lengths in class 4 contest at Warwick 12 months ago off a mark of 107.
Take The Mick followed that up with a cracking second at Towcester off 114, and is now able to race off just 1lb higher having hinted that his time was near when a two length runner-up to Ballyculla in a class 3 contest at Bangor last month.
That was the nine-year-old’s second run off the campaign and Take the Mick should now be spot on to do himself justice.
The drop back down to class 4 company is also a big plus, and with Aidan Coleman in the saddle this looks a great opportunity for Take The Mick to get back to winning ways.
13.30: The Gipper
14.00: Take The Mick (NB)
14.30: Baraka De Thaix (NAP)
15.00: Garde La Victoire
15.30: Rainbow Haze
16.00: Diamond Rock
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