Newbury and Nottingham previews: Rajar hot stuff in St Hugh’s Fillies’ Stakes
David Metcalf | August 12, 2016
Rajar ready to rock at Newbury
Rajar is progressing at a rate of knots and can take the step up into Listed company in her stride to land the 6f St Hugh’s Fillies Stakes at Newbury today (15:55).
After shaping with promise in her first two starts, the Richard Hannon trained two-year-old has rattled up a hat-trick of successes in impressive fashion.
In the last of those at Newmarket, the daughter of Archipenko made all an quickened smartly to beat Paco’s Angel by 2 1/2 lengths in what looked a hot class 2 nursery.
The way in which she travelled powerfully at the head of affairs before putting the race to bed in a matter of strides suggested she had a huge engine and needed keeping firmly onside.
This demands more, but Rajar is clearly on a serious upward curve and may well have even more to offer given the manner of her latest success, hailing from a stable that sent out Whatdoiwantthatfor to land the spoils 12 months ago.
Scene set to take centre stage
Steal The Scene has dropped to a handy mark, so looks decent value to get back to winning ways in the 1m handicap (14:50).
This colt – a Hannon stablemate of Rajar – was last successful at Kempton back in November when scoring by 1 1/4 lengths off a mark of 80.
Steal The Scene went on to be beaten a nose off 84 at Lingfield, and was far from disgraced back on the turf when a 4 1/4 length eighth of 15 to Fieldsman in a class 3 contest at Newmarket off 85.
The four-year-old also ran well when third to Pastoral Player at Goodwood off 79 and is now able to race in this class 4 affair off 76. That gives the son of Lord Shanakill every chance from a handicapping perspective.
Steal The Scene comes into the contest on the back of a solid third at Chelmsford and a decent fourth at Newmarket which suggest he is coming to the boil and ready to go in again.
14.50: Steal The Scene (NB)
15.55: Rajar (NAP)
16.30: King Crimson
Walter to cash-in on class drop at Nottingham
Cardinal Walter has caught the eye on both starts this season and can take advantage of an ease in grade to land the 1m 6f handicap on today’s card at Nottingham (16:20).
This gelding had some smart form on the level back in 2012 when trained by David Simcock, winning once and posting several solid efforts to make the frame in competitive handicaps.
They included a cracking third of 16 to Guarantee in the valuable Melrose Handicap at York off a mark of 86.
Cardinal Walter then suffered an injury and had just one run in 2013, after which he joined trainer Nicky Henderson and developed into a useful hurdler to be rated 142 at his peak.
He is now able to race off what looks a workable mark of 90, coming into the race having shaped better than the bare result suggests in two hot handicaps.
After finishing fourth of 15 to Saigon City at York when held-up miles off the pace before staying on well to be nearest at the finish and beaten just two lengths, the son of Cape Cross was again given too much to do when a never nearer seventh of 20 to Dannyday in the class 2 Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.
This class 3 affair looks less competitive than both those races and represents a good opportunity for Cardinal Walter to get back on the scoresheet.
Sweet on the chances of Honeyuckle
Honeysuckle Lil posted a cracking effort when runner-up last time out, but can go one better to land the 6f handicap (15:10).
The Tim Easterby trained filly landed back-to-back handicaps at Ripon and Leicester 14 months ago, with the last of those successes coming off a mark of 70.
Honeysuckle Lil is now able to race off just 4lb higher and comes into the race having signalled that her time was near when finding only Courier 1 3/4 lengths too good in a 6f contest at Carlisle.
The winner is a thriving sort who has since gone on to defy a 7lb rise in the weights and bolt up at Thirsk. that gives the form a rock solid look in the context of this contest.
Connections are also now fitting Honeysuckle Lil with the visor for the first time and, if the new headgear has the desired effect, she is going to take plenty of beating if building on her latest effort.
14.10: King Of Paris
14.40: Prigsnov Dancer
15.10: Honeysuckle Lil (NB)
16.20: Cardinal Walter (NAP)
16.50: Colonial Classic
17.20: Highlife Dancer