Barjeel will struggle to live up to his extortionate price-tag but should be good enough to win the Book Your Christmas Party at CCR Maiden at Chelmsford.
The William Haggas-trained youngster has a classy American pedigree, so much so that racing manager Angus Gold parted with $500,000 of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s money at the Keeneland Sales. He failed to make the track last year and Haggas then sent him to Newcastle for his debut last month over seven furlongs.
The fact he was beaten by the favourite was possibly no surprise and he stuck to his task fairly well for a horse having his first outing. The winner, Roger Varian’s Sun Lover, had three previous runs to count on for experience and has since been awarded a mark of 85. Barjeel was only beaten half a length and they pulled nine lengths clear of the third which is always a good sign. So while he may be no world-beater, it is worth hanging on until the final race of the day for the best bet.
Roger Charlton could not have any complaints that Sfumato was only raised by 4lb after winning at Lingfield last time out.
The Bated Breath colt had been improving with each run in maidens and making his handicap debut off 78 he opened his account.
He won by a length and a half going away with plenty still in the tanks so while the Bet totejackpot At betfred.com Nursery Handicap looks a hot contest, he is sure to put up a bold display.
Pick A Little has been given a nice break since winning over the same course and distance of the albioninthecommunity.org.uk Handicap at Brighton.
He benefited from a really patient Timmy Murphy ride, who sat off a fast pace and in the end won pretty snugly going away.
This race is more competitive but he is once more guaranteed a strong pace to run at and, given the handicapper only put him up 2lb, he has claims of following up.
TURF TALK TIPS
BRIGHTON: 1.30 Prazeres, 2.00 Esloobaha, 2.30 Deluxe, 3.05 Edge, 3.40 Skiff, 4.15 Pick A Little (treble), 4.50 Presto Boy, 5.20 Bahamian Sunrise.
CARLISLE: 2.10 Sindarban, 2.40 Aramist, 3.15 Double W’s, 3.50 Ballyarthur, 4.25 Beggars Cross, 5.00 Three Faces West, 5.30 Baysbrown.
CHELMSFORD: 5.50 Claire’s Secret, 6.20 Sfumato (next best), 6.50 Blue On Blue, 7.20 Cliffs Of Capri, 7.50 Room Key, 8.20 Graceful Lady, 8.50 Rock Icon, 9.20 BARJEEL (NAP).
UTTOXETER: 2.20 Defi Du Seuil, 2.55 Hoke Colburn, 3.30 Long Lunch, 4.05 Barton Rose, 4.40 Water Wagtail, 5.10 Star Ascending.