Rotherwick can poke his head in front at Newmarket for the first time in what feels like an eternity.
The Paul Cole-trained four-year-old has continually finished in the frame during a busy career, but he has not won a race for nearly two years. Cole will be desperate to do something about that ahead of the NGK Spark Plugs Handicap over a mile and a quarter. The signs look promising, too, as Rotherwick has rarely let the side down of late, with his recent second at Windsor on ground that was probably too soft of particular interest.
Inniscastle Lad had his measure that day, but the selection only went down by three-quarters of a length and finished off his race with intent. A convincing winner over nine furlongs at Newmarket off just a 2lb lower mark is also a pleasing statistic, while the fact champion jockey Jim Crowley is on board and can only be seen as a good thing.
The feature race on the card, the Irish Stallion Farms “Bosra Sham” EBF Fillies’ Stakes, could go to Lagenda. Andrew Balding’s youngster is the highest-rated horse in the field, but that is not without good reason as she finished runner-up in the Mill Reef at Newbury. Lagenda then impressed at York last month when she got to within a length and a quarter of Sir Dancealot, who ended up running in the Racing Post Trophy, in the Rockingham.
She sets the standard.
Eternitys Gate should be within striking distance in the Arrange A Pinnacle Stable Visit At Wynyard Handicap at Newcastle.
Ivan Furtado’s sprinter deserves credit for the way he kept up the good fight to finish second over this course and distance last Saturday, when Royal Mezyan proved a stubborn foe. He is clearly coming to hand and again runs on the same all-weather mark off which he won at Wolverhampton a few years ago.
TURF TALK TIPS
NEWCASTLE: 4.40 Nonchalant, 5.10 Tectonic, 5.45 Beaconsfield, 6.15 Crushed, 6.45 Eternitys Gate, 7.15 Westward Ho, 7.45 Deansgate, 8.15 Meandmyshadow.
NEWMARKET: 1.20 Founding Father, 1.50 Loujain, 2.25 ROTHERWICK (NAP), 3.00 Perfect Angel, 3.35 Lagenda (next best), 4.10 Graceland, 4.45 Trevisani, 5.15 Tomahawk Kid.
UTTOXETER: 2.00 Cosette, 2.35 Mr Big Shot, 3.10 Bonvilston Boy, 3.45 Top Notch, 4.20 Kings Cross, 4.50 St Gregory.
WETHERBY: 2.10 Midnight Maestro, 2.45 Cloud Monkey, 3.20 Abricot De L’Oasis (treble), 3.55 Cliffs Of Dover, 4.30 Bertalus, 5.00 Verko.