Turf Talk: Opportunity knocks for Iffraaz to return to winning ways in Yarmouth’s British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes

Iffraaz's trainer, Mark Johnston. PIC: Ben Duffy/SWpix.comIffraaz's trainer, Mark Johnston. PIC: Ben Duffy/SWpix.com
Iffraaz's trainer, Mark Johnston. PIC: Ben Duffy/SWpix.com
Iffraaz has an ideal opportunity to return to winning ways in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes at Yarmouth.

Mark Johnston’s juvenile impressed sufficiently with his winning debut at Carlisle to be dispatched to Royal Ascot for the Windsor Castle Stakes on his last assignment.

He was taken seriously in the market there too, with the assistance of the redoubtable Frankie Dettori, but was eased out of the Listed reckoning when his chance was gone to be beaten eventually by 11 lengths.

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There is unlikely to be anything of a similar calibre in opposition here, however, and it is worth noting too that the form of Iffraaz’s initial victory has been significantly boosted of late.

On heavy ground in Cumbria at the end of May, he made short work of Hurstwood – who was favourite, had experience on his side, has since won twice and is considered a Gimcrack prospect by his canny trainer.

Hurstwood beat a Johnston odds-on shot at Pontefract this week, in fact, but the stable has fine prospects of a better outcome this time with Iffraaz.

Half an hour later, the Johnston camp may be up against it in the Grosvenor Casino Of Great Yarmouth Handicap – with top-weight Cape Victory preferred.

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James Tate’s colt looked an evident candidate for a drop back to this trip of a mile when he was collared late on over 10 furlongs at Redcar last time.

He had to use up some early petrol that day to get to the lead, after repeating his habit of being slowly away. If Cape Victory is away in touch here, he should take some stopping.

In the MansionBet Win Handicap, Elsie Violet has an obvious chance of following up last week’s course-and-distance triumph.

She has a 6lb winner’s penalty for her trouble, but again benefits from her rider’s allowance and does not look overfaced in this company.

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The unbeaten Logician is chasing a hat-trick at Newbury, in the Rancho Zabaco Handicap.

The manner of the Frankel colt’s two victories to date suggests John Gosden is hardly over-playing his hand off top-weight in this 0-90, and Logician also has Dettori for company for the first time.

Diva Kareem, by contrast, has yet to open her account but may well do so in the British Stallion Studs EBF Median Auction Maiden Stakes at Epsom.

After a promising Kempton debut, George Baker’s filly had the misfortune to run into a wild-card 33-1 outsider who shot past her late on at Goodwood and has since let the form down.

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She did little wrong there, though, had the remainder of the field well beaten and should appreciate this step up to seven furlongs.

Martyn Meade has chosen the Racing Welfare For All Racing’s Workforce Handicap for Headland’s belated return.

All is well again at Manton, after the stable’s well-publicised early-season difficulties, and Headland very much looked the part when winning decisively on handicap debut at Salisbury almost 10 months ago.

Witness In Court may now be a 12-year-old, but he showed he retains plenty of ability with a recent win at Perth and is taken to follow up back at that track.

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After running in hunter chase company, he made a seamless switch back to handicap level with a seven-length verdict over two and a half miles just under two weeks ago.

Witness In Court has been raised 4lb for that verdict ahead of the Watch Racingtv Now Handicap Chase, but is still worth supporting.


EPSOM: 6.05 Blazing Saddles, 6.40 Diva Kareem (treble), 7.15 Poetic Force, 7.45 Headland, 8.20 Foresee, 8.50 Statuario.

HAYDOCK: 2.00 Hallalulu, 2.30 Buhturi, 3.00 Kingbrook, 3.30 Global Spirit, 4.00 Mubariz, 4.30 Just My Type, 5.00 Boudica Bay.

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NEWBURY: 5.45 Cookupastorm, 6.20 So Sharp, 6.55 Man Of The Night, 7.25 Logician, 8.00 Lethal Angel, 8.30 Cogital, 9.00 Mandocello.

PERTH: 2.10 Cats For Cash, 2.40 Wise Coco, 3.10 Witness In Court, 3.40 Strong Team, 4.10 Viens Chercher, 4.40 Donnas Dream, 5.10 Stop Talking.

YARMOUTH: 2.20 Swell Song, 2.50 IFFRAAZ (NAP), 3.20 Cape Victory, 3.50 Star Shield, 4.20 Penarth Pier, 4.50 Elsie Violet (next best), 5.20 Potters Lady Jane.

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