Nottingham Preview: Referendum gets yes vote on handicap debut
Referendum has shown enough to suggest he can make a winning handicap dbeut in the 1m 1f nursery at Nottingham today (3.30).
This Sir Michael Stoute trained gelding has progressed with each run in three starts in maidens, and shaped like a sure fire winner waiting to happen last time out over a mile at Thirsk when third of 12 to Deerfield.
Referendum, the son of Cape Cross, showed plenty of pace to chase the leaders before taking up the running two from home, but was then unable to quicken approaching the final furlong and ended beaten by three lengths.
The winner is a well-regarded sort, and the fourth home Game Show – who finished 4 1/2 lengths behind Referendum – bolted up by three lengths in a maiden at Kempton yesterday where he had a 75-rated rival a further 3 1/4 lengths behind in third.
That is solid form, and makes Referendum’s opening handicap mark of just 60 look on the lenient side.
This further step up in trip also looks likely to bring about further improvement, and another plus is Referendum has the services of crack apprentice Cam Hardie, who is terrific value for his claim, which takes another 5lb off the selection’s back.
Hardie can complEte a quick-fire double aboard Daisy Boy in the 1m 2f handicap (4.05).
Trained by Stuart Williams, this gelding has proved a different proposition since going handicapping, making all to win in game fashion at Leicester before finishing a highly creditable second at Beverley last time out when not helped by a slow start.
The latter showed that Daisy Boy should be capable of winning races off his current rating of 66 and, taking Hardie’s claim into account, he is just 1lb higher than when last successful.
With the prospect of further improvement on the cards, that makes Daisy Boy look weighted to take all the bearing.
In the 5f handicap (4.05), Mutafaakir can take advanatge of a drop in the weights to get back to winning ways.
The gelding was last successful in a class 3 contest at Ayr back in July when making all to score by 3/4 of a length off a mark of 79, and is now able to race off the same rating in this lower grade class 4 affair after shaping as if coming back to form last time out.
That run came at Doncaster, where Mutafaakir showed bags of early speed before weakening late on to finish a 3 1/4 length ninth of 20 to Expose.
The winner, to whom Mutafaakir was conceding 4lb, has since franked the form by going on to land the Ayr Bronze Cup off 82 and, if the Ruth Carr trained five-year-old can build on that effort, a huge run looks on the cards.
3.00: Heavenly River
3.30: Referendum (NAP)
4.05: Daisy Boy
4.35: Mutafaakir (NB)
5.05: Hurry Home Poppa