Newbury preview: Mud-loving Firmament weighted to strike
Firmament revels in the mud, and can take advantage of what looks a handy mark to get back on the winning trail in the 1m handicap on this evening’s card at Newbury (18.40).
The Jeremy Noseda trained gelding shaped with plenty of promise in his two starts last season before opening his account on soft ground over course and distance.
Firmament stayed on strongly from well off the pace to score by 3/4 of a length and, after being off the track for 197 days, ran a blinder on his seasonal reappearance on soft ground at Haydock when when beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Gerry The Glover in a class 3 contest off an opening handicap mark of 85.
Although the three-year-old has not been at his best in two subsequent outings, those runs have come on quicker ground and he has not been knocked about.
The last of those also came in a class 3 contest, and Firmament now drops down into class 4 company having slipped to a rating of 82.
That makes Firmament look nicely weighted judged on his Haydock run, especially now back on the soft ground that he relishes.
In the 6f handicap that closes proceedings (19.40), Be Bold looks decent value to score an overdue success.
The Richard Hannon trained gelding has not won since landing a 5f maiden on soft ground at Chepstow 15 months ago by four lengths, but has run well to make the several occasions.
They include a decent fourth in a nursery at Goodwood on soft ground off a mark of 82, and a solid 1 3/4 length fourth to Rio Ronaldo in a 6f contest at Windsor off 82 on his seasonal reappearance.
Be Bold is now able to race in this lower grade class 5 affair of a career-low of just 70, and that gives the son of Assertive major claims from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form.
The three-year-old also has proven form on soft ground, and now drops back in trip having failed to get home in his last three starts over 7f and 1m.
16.40: Et Toi
17.40: Man Look
18.10: Fashionable Spirit
18.40: Firmament (NAP)
19.10: Sleepy Dust
19.40: Be Bold (NB)