Ibn Malik holds all the aces in European Free Handicap
David Metcalf | April 12, 2016
Class-dropping Ibn Malik the answer to European Free Handicap
Ibn Malik had some very useful form as a juvenile and can take advantage of a drop in class to land the European Free Handicap at Newmarket (15.55).
The Charlie Hills trained gelding looked a smart prospect when making a winning debut at this venue, racing prominently until taking up the running four furlongs from home and finding plenty when challenged to cosily beat Comicas by 3/4 of a length.
That view was confirmed when Ibn Malik went down fighting by 3/4 of a length to Galileo Gold in the Group 2 Vinatage Stakes at Goodwood.
Solid efforts in Group company
The son of Raven’s Pass backed that up with a solid second to the highly regarded Emotionless in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, before rounding off the campaign with a solid third to Gifted Master in a Group 3 contest at this track.
Those runs represent very solid form in the context of this lower grade Listed contest, and Ibn Malik is a scopey sort who looks the type to make up into an even better three-year-old.
Ibn Malik is also proven over the trip, and with Paul Hanagan in the saddle can exploit what could well be a lenient mark of 107 to make a winning reappearance.
Kachy and Raucous have stamina to prove
Kachy and Raucous are not promising types but are unproven over the trip.
The former is trained by Tom Dascombe and won both his starts as a juvenile, scoring readily over 5f at Chester before landing the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood by 3/4 of length over the minimum trip.
That latter represents strong form, but Kachy looks a speedy type and although he has stamina on his side I am not convinced the 7f in this will suit.
Raucous also won his first two starts before going on to be placed in two Group 2 contests.
The William Haggas trained colt tended to less than expected at the business end of those Group races, and it could be that he will be seen to his best effect over sprint distances.
Coral’s top tip: Ibn Malik brings the strongest form to the table and with stamina not an issue rates a solid bet to take advantage of a drop in class and make a winning return to action.