Windsor Preview: Mud-loving Norway Cross can collect for Cumani
Lightly-raced Norway Cross will relish the soft ground at Windsor today and looks a worthy favourite to land the 1m 3f feature handicap (3.50).
Trained by Luca Cumani, the filly got off the mark at the second time of asking, when staying on strongly to beat Aalim by nine lengths on heavy ground in a 1m 4f maiden at Pontefract 12 months ago.
The four-year-old has since run well to nake the frame in two of her three starts this season, including last time out at Sandown when third to War Singer over 1m 2f.
A daughter of Cape Cross, Norway Cross only weakened late on after holding every chace entering the final furlong, and looks sure to come on for the run as it was her first in 93 days.
Norway Cross will also appreciate the step back up to 1m 4f, and every drop of rain that falls on the already soft ground at the Berkshire venue will only further enhance her chances.
In the 5f nursery (4.50), Stone Roses could well have got in lightly on handicap debut and can go well at a big price.
The Michael Bell-trained filly has only had four starts, and by far her best effort came in the mud at Newmarket on her penultimate outing when fifth of 11 to Luna Moon.
Stone Roses stayed on strongly to be beaten 1 3/4 lengths after being caught short of room a furlong from home, and finished just over a length behind the runner-up Cockney Island, who subsequently went on to finish a cracking fourth of 21 in a valuable sales race at Doncaster and is now rated 88.
That gives the form a strong look in the context of this contest, and makes Stone Roses’ opening mark of 67 look on the lenient side.
Soaring Spirits is another who relishes soft going and looks decent each-way value in the 7f handicap that closes the card (5.20).
The gelding is a course and distance winner, whose last success came on soft ground at Doncaster 12 months ago off a mark of 77 when trained by Roger Varian.
The four-year-old has run a couple of solid races to be placed off higher marks this year since joining Dean Ivory, including when third at Chepstow on soft ground three starts back off 79.
Soaring Spirits now gets into this off 77, the same as when last successful, and that gives the son of Tamayuz every chance form a handicapping perspective.
1.50: Pharoh Jake
2.20: Rocky Rider
3.20: Cabin Fever
3.50: Norway Cross (NAP)
4.20: Lady Brigid
4.50: Stone Roses (NB)
5.20: Soaring Spirits