Turf Talk: Gelded Waarif bidding for Newcastle ‘double’

Trainer David O'Meara. PIC: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Trainer David O'Meara. PIC: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
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Waarif is worth following as he makes just his second British start in the sunbets.co.uk Handicap at Newcastle.

Formerly trained by Kevin Prendergast in Ireland, Waarif notched up one all-weather win in three maiden starts last year before being absent from action for well over a year.

The son of Arcano was snapped up for just 23,000 guineas at the end of last season and was subsequently gelded when he joined David O’Meara’s team.

He then took a fair chunk of time to get back to the track, eventually reappearing at Newcastle last month when he turned in a fair performance to finish second on the back of a 15-month absence.

Waarif missed an intended run at Chelmsford at the end of October, but clearly whatever troubled him that day was not too serious as he is back in action here.

The handicapper put him up 1lb for his return effort and Waarif looks capable of making his mark off that sort of rating.

Economic Crisis was beaten six lengths at Catterick on her latest start, but she deserves a bit more credit for that run than first appears.

Alan Berry’s charge hardly helped herself when she unshipped her rider in the preliminaries and perhaps the excitement of that mishap just told a bit as she got a bit left behind before making up ground in the finish.

Economic Crisis will be joining the 100 club in the 32Red.com Fillies’ Handicap and while her return of 11 wins in 99 starts is hardly breathtaking, she certainly is capable of decent efforts on her day.

Chalonnial can make a dream start over fences in the Integral Novices’ Chase at Warwick.

The five-year-old has shown glimpses of ability in five career outings so far, winning one of two bumper starts before adding a hurdles success to his tally last term.

He picked up a Grade One placing when finishing third behind Finian’s Oscar in the Tolworth last January but could not build on that in a Kelso Grade Two on his final outing of the campaign.

He appeared to have a hard race that day, dropping away quickly after holding every chance with a couple of hurdles to jump.

Chalonnial has had a good break since then though and should be fresh for this new challenge.

Just A Thought takes an eyecatching hike in distance for the Hy-Kleen Of Warwick Novices’ Hurdle.

Second in a three-mile point-to-point back in April 2016, Rebecca Curtis’ mare was a dual bumper winner last season before rounding off with third place in a Listed heat at Sandown in March.

She was second on her hurdles bow over nearly two and a half miles at Chepstow last month, but it is perhaps telling Just A Thought is now pitched in over three miles and two furlongs.

Copper Kay was a bit of a disappointment on her fencing debut at Worcester last month but can improve on that effort in the TBA/EBF Mares’ Beginners’ Chase at Fontwell.

Grade Two-placed over hurdles, more cut in the ground should be right up her street.


FONTWELL: 1.30 Gonnabegood, 2.00 Copper Kay, 2.30 Legend Lady, 3.00 Zen Master, 3.30 Give Him Time, 4.00 East Wing.

HEXHAM: 1.10 Wotabreeze, 1.40 Niceandeasy, 2.10 Pinch Of Ginger, 2.40 Dalaman, 3.10 On A Promise, 3.40 Corner Creek.

NEWCASTLE: 5.45 Destinata, 6.15 Evies Wish, 6.45 Economic Crisis, 7.15 WAARIF (NAP), 7.45 Palindrome, 8.15 Tifl, 8.45 My Girl Maisie, 9.15 Lady Of The Lamp.

WARWICK: 12.50 Knight Destroyer, 1.20 Just A Thought, 1.50 Chalonnial (next best), 2.20 Inn The Bull, 2.50 Lunar Flow, 3.20 No Ceiling, 3.50 Diva Du Maquis.