Turf Talk: Hajaam ready to play nap hand at Kempton

Trainer Nicky Henderson. PIC: David Davies/PA WireTrainer Nicky Henderson. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire
Trainer Nicky Henderson. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire
Hajaam has been on the march in recent weeks and can bring up his five-timer in the 32Red Handicap at Kempton.

Charlie Fellowes’ charge seems to have really found his groove now, having finally got his head in front at the fifth time of asking at Haydock in September.

He was well off the pace in two starts at the start of the year and was then away from the track until August, taking a couple of runs to get his eye in following a gelding operation before finally coming good.

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That victory proved a turning point as he subsequently sluiced up by six lengths at Kempton before defying a 12lb hike at Leicester and a further 6lb increase at Yarmouth.

Clearly Hajaam has more to find with another 2lb on his back and in a better class of company here, but he is clearly on the upgrade and starting to justify the 250,000 guineas he cost as a yearling in 2015.

Domitilla returns from a lengthy break in the 32Red On The App Store Maiden Stakes but can take advantage of what could be a good opportunity.

She finished fourth on her only start to date, racing a bit keenly before hanging a bit for pressure when beaten just under seven lengths by Princess De Lune at Newbury in April.

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The winner has since been tried in Listed company, while three winners have emerged from the also-rans, so the form looks decent and Domitilla can further enhance those statistics.

Rosarno recently snapped a near 12-month barren spell with a win at Nottingham at the start of October and he can follow up back at that track. Charlie Hills’ runner had fallen a little way down the ratings having been out of luck for such a lengthy spell, with a few attempts at middle distance failing to bring out the best in him.

However, dropped back to an extended mile and with a bit of cut in the ground at Colwick Park, Rosarno made the most of a less than ideal passage to eke out a neck victory.

The handicapper has been limited to a 2lb rise and that may not be enough to stop a Rosarno double in the ROA/Racing Post Owners Jackpot Handicap.

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The EBF Stallions Golden Horn Maiden Stakes honours John Gosden’s superstar and the Newmarket handler has a likely winner of the second division of the race in Petit Palais.

A Champs Elysees half-brother to 2000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold, Petit Palais certainly has the right kind of pedigree to be making his mark at a better level next term.

Mercian King threw in a rare bad run on his penultimate start but righted the ship last time and can go on again at Fakenham.

That seventh place at Stratford represented the only occasion Mercian King had finished out of the first three in nine starts for Amy Murphy, but the application of cheekpieces could have made an impact.

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With the headgear removed, he bounced back in style at Worcester and can be relied upon to be in the shake-up in the Greene King IPA Handicap Chase.

Nicky Henderson’s Barman has not won since September 2016, but he can get back on the victory trail in the totepoolliveinfo.com “Confined” Handicap Hurdle at Taunton.


FAKENHAM: 1.10 Royal Ruby, 1.40 Chandos Belle, 2.10 Melody Of Scotland, 2.40 Mercian King, 3.10 Spin Point, 3.40 Wade Harper, 4.10 Golden Friday.

KEMPTON: 4.25 Llamrei, 4.55 Exec Chef, 5.25 Sky Rocket, 5.55 Balgair, 6.25 Domitilla (treble), 6.55 Innoko, 7.25 HAJAAM (NAP), 7.55 Epsom Secret.

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NOTTINGHAM: 12.30 Tamkeen, 1.00 Petit Palais, 1.30 Rosarno (next best), 2.00 Rydan, 2.30 Lydiate Lady, 3.00 World Record, 3.30 Hitchcock, 4.00 Royal Cosmic.

TAUNTON: 1.20 Parlour Maid, 1.50 Challico, 2.20 Pokari, 2.50 Charlie Mon, 3.20 Barman, 3.50 Royal Chief, 4.20 The Greenvet.