Turf Talk: Kohinoor Diamond set to shine at Southwell

Kohinoor Diamond let down her supporters last time but should be given a chance to redeem herself in the Betway Stayer's Handicap at Southwell.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 28th December 2017, 1:30 pm
Sir Mark Prescott
Sir Mark Prescott

The three-year-old’s record of just one win in seven outings to date is hardly encouraging, but it is interesting to see her hiked up to two miles for the first time here.

Sir Mark Prescott is a past master of such bold moves and, after Kohinoor Diamond won over 10 furlongs at Chelmsford in October, he wasted little time in pitching up to a mile and a half.

The Excelebration filly has been found wanting in both outings at that distance, though, most recently when a three-length eighth after racing awkwardly in the closing stages at Lingfield.

Kohinoor Diamond is perhaps not the most straightforward of horses, but she clearly has ability and must be considered with a handy pull in the weights.

Red Stripes was just edged out by Pearl Acclaim on his most recent start at Southwell and can gain deserved compensation in the Betway Dash Handicap.

He hung a bit in the finish that day which probably did not help his chances much and while a 3lb hike is hardly a positive, it must be remembered he was good enough to win off a perch of 84 a couple of years ago.

Benie Des Dieux can make it three wins in as many starts over fences in Doncaster’s unbets Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chase.

Willie Mullins clearly has another classy ex-French runner on his hands in this six-year-old, who made her debut for the yard at Limerick last December.

She was an easy winner that day but was then off the track until reappearing at Carlisle earlier this month when she made every yard for a comfortable eight-length verdict in a similar Listed heat to this.

Her task was eased slightly that day as her main rival was pulled up.

But Benie Des Dieux certainly impressed with her jumping and can do so again here.

Copain De Classe found Benatar too good at Ascot last month but given that one has gone on to Grade Two success, that may have been a very decent run.

Paul Nicholls has been far from hard on this five-year-old having chalked up just six outings for him in two years, but he looks an animal full of potential.

Jonniesofa always promised to be a good horse for Rose Dobbin and he can take the next step up the ladder in the Children’s Immunology Trust Novices’ Chase at Kelso.

A suspensory injury sustained in the 2016 Albert Bartlett saw him miss the entirety of the last campaign, but he showed the fire still burns bright when winning on his reappearance and first try over fences at Carlisle in October.

While he was merely workmanlike that day, he did race a bit keenly in setting the early gallop and it was to his credit he managed to fend off all challengers at the finish.

Faugheen is seemingly back and firing on all cylinders this season so it would be folly to oppose him in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown.

He put Jezki to the sword by 16 lengths in the Morgiana on his return and he should only improve for the outing.


DONCASTER: 12.25 Naranja, 12.55 Spirit Of Rome, 1.30 Copain De Classe, 2.05 Way Back Then, 2.40 Benie Des Dieux (next best), 3.10 Wicked Spice, 3.40 Toviere.

KELSO: 12.05 Black Pirate, 12.35 Acdc, 1.05 Dexcite, 1.40 Chidswell, 2.15 Cockley Beck, 2.50 Jonniesofa, 3.20 Un Guet Appens.

SOUTHWELL: 12.15 Medici Oro, 12.45 Argon, 1.50 KOHINOOR DIAMOND (NAP), 2.25 Red Stripes (treble), 3.00 Clergyman, 3.30 Go On Gal.