Turf Talk - Mackaar set to strike on return to all-weather at Kempton

Mackaar can strike on his return to the all-weather in the Try Our New Runner Boost At Unibet Handicap at Kempton.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 6:00 am
Trainer Roger Varian pictured last month at Royal Ascot. Picure: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Roger Varian’s four-year-old has raced exclusively on turf since last April, and has put up some decent performances in useful company. Mackaar finished last year with two relatively uninspiring runs, however, and was gelded over the winter.

He showed more zip on his return at Newbury this month, before eventually fading into a fair fourth, and is back at the scene of his racecourse debut with cheek-pieces fitted for the first time by his in-form trainer.

This mile-and-a-half trip looks spot on for him, after showing plenty of stamina in his back-to-back novice wins at up to 10 furlongs at Wolverhampton and Lingfield before switching to the turf. He has been dropped 2lb despite showing up well last time, and appears to have been given a fair chance to show his mettle in this grade.

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In the opening British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes, Basilicata has a fine opportunity to break her duck at the second attempt on the basis of her initial second at Goodwood this month.

She lost by just a short head that day, after making much of the running, and can take advantage of this second shot at level weights against a field of fellow maidens - including five debutantes.

Make Haste Slowly has, true to his name, already had to wait significantly longer to get home in front - but after two Flat placings this month, to add to two bumper runs last autumn, he may be in business in the Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Novice Stakes.

David Elsworth’s gelding stuck on well in second over this trip at Thirsk last time, and a similar effort may well be enough to get off the mark here.

Dargel has undergone a couple of procedures since he last ran, namely a gelding operation and wind surgery.

He was running fine without the assistance of either, despite failing to add to two mid-summer victories before the end of last season.

On the assumption they have nonetheless had a beneficial effect, he could return with a win off his unchanged mark in the Unibet Casino Deposit £10 Get £40 Bonus Handicap.

At Musselburgh, an Innings victory may not be achieved by quite the overwhelming margin it would designate in a Test match - but it could still be on the cards for Richard Fahey’s colt in the Good To Go On Racing TV Maiden Stakes.

Innings was beaten less than a length into fourth on his seasonal return at Haydock, a significant improvement on his debut at Newcastle and enough to put him right in the mix here.

Jedd O’Keeffe has been struggling to get a win out of Aegeus, since acquiring the former Juddmonte gelding last autumn.

Aegeus has consequently fallen down the ratings, and can perhaps make it count in the Start Your Racing TV For Free Now Handicap.

Jumps racing returns in Britain on Wednesday with a meeting at Southwell - and in line with current protocols, we already know what will be running 24 hours earlier than we usually do.

A clutch of well-known connections are out to steal a march on day one.

Among them, trainer Olly Murphy and jockey Richard Johnson - out to regain his crown this season - are represented by St Gallen in the In Memory Of Gary Parr Handicap Hurdle.

The seven-year-old was a disappointment when bidding for a hat-trick last summer but returns after an encouraging pipe-opener on the Flat, having had a wind operation and wearing a tongue strap for the first time.

Murphy has a notable contender in the preceding signsolutions.org Handicap Hurdle as 10-year-old Hunters Call finally returns to the track following his big win in an Ascot Grade Three on stable debut in 2017.

He may well be ready for it too, but Chapmanshype was also in unstoppable form when last seen and is four years younger.

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

KEMPTON: 4.40 Basilicata, 5.10 Ivadream, 5.40 Horn Of Plenty, 6.10 Make Haste Slowly, 6.45 Coltrane, 7.15 MACKAAR (NAP), 7.45 Dargel (next best), 8.15 True Destiny, 8.45 Global Hope.

MUSSELBURGH: 12.15 Disco Beats, 12.45 Nibras Again, 1.20 Night Moment, 1.50 Innings, 2.20 Asdaa, 2.50 Aegeus, 3.20 Imperial Focus, 3.50 Nearly There.

SOUTHWELL: 12.00 Oxwich Bay, 12.35 Tidal Watch, 1.10 The Greater Good, 1.40 Can You Believe It, 2.10 Enemy Coast Ahead, 2.40 Let Rip, 3.10 Chapmanshype, 3.40 St Gallen, 4.10 Get An Oscar.

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