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Tim Easterby's Choisan fancied to do well in Hambleton Cup
Choisan was unable to make an impression at York’s Ebor Festival a fortnight ago, but the Tim Easterby-trained gelding is not to be overlooked in one of the feature races at Thirsk tomorrow.
The three-year-old figures at the foot of the weights in the £12,500 Hambleton Cup and is fancied to have a big say in the outcome in the hands of James Sullivan.
Responsible for a strong gallop in the ultra-competitive Melrose Handicap on the final day of the Ebor Festival, Choisan eventually dropped away and, after being hampered, weakened into a mid-field position.
Prior to that, the gelding, successful at Ripon in mid-summer, had been a model of consistency. His style of running should be suited to this track over a mile and a half and, able to take advantage of the weight-for-age allowance in this all-aged event, he is entitled to make a bold bid.
In the Personal Touches Diamond Handicap, which boasts £15,000 in prize money, Nawwaar can make his long journey from Sussex worthwhile.
Trained at Arundel by John Dunlop, Nawwaar has twice suffered narrow defeats at Newmarket on his last two starts. He is deserving of a win and North Yorkshire rider Phillip Makin has been booked.
Norton trainer Brian Ellison has his string in good form and Mon Brav could well add to his tally of winners in the Barkers Of Northallerton Handicap.
The five-year-old, who is well drawn, finished an encouraging third at Redcar on his latest start and looks to be running into form. He is also a previous course and distance winner here.
The showpiece event of the day is the £225,000 Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock.
While Richard Fahey’s July Cup winner, Mayson, is a non-runner following a less-than-satisfactory scope yesterday morning, Bated Breath is taken to clinch the honours on the same course where he won the Temple Stakes earlier in the season.
Roger Charlton’s handsome colt was narrowly beaten in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and was beaten just over three lengths into sixth behind Ortensia in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York a couple of weeks ago.
Ortensia is in the field again tomorrow, but Bated Breath is fancied to gain revenge on this quicker ground and make up for his nail-biting defeat in this race 12 months ago when he went down by a nose to Dream Ahead.
Sir Henry Cecil can land the opening honours at the Lancashire venue with Al Waab, the mount of Ian Mongan. The juvenile has won both his starts to date at Newmarket and looks a progressive performer. He should relish this step up to a mile.
Thirsk trainer David Barron has good prospects with Long Awaited in the Betfred Be Friendly Handicap.
A decent horse on his day, the four-year-old finished a good fourth at Goodwood two starts back and came good at Epsom at the end of last month with a clever success. There could be more to come and Richard Hughes looks an interesting booking.
The nap vote goes to Kamchatka in the Betfred Nursery. Well-regarded in the Alan Swinbank yard, the two-year-old shaped well to finish fourth on his debut at Thirsk before going one better in good style at Pontefract.
He was pulled out at York a couple of weeks ago when the ground came up unsuitably soft, but conditions should be perfect this time and he looks weighted to score.
2.20 Another Claret, 2.55 Wyldfire, 3.30 Mon Brav, 4.05 Choisan, 4.35 Nawwaar, 5.10 Main Beach, 5.40 Giorgio’s Dragon, 6.10 Team Challenge.
1.45 Al Waab, 2.15 Long Awaited, 2.50 Gabrial, 3.25 Bated Breath, 4.00 Getabuzz, 4.30 Kamchatka (NAP), 5.05 Flashman.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Ascot, Kempton, Stratford, Wolverhampton.
Today’s meetings: Brighton, Chepstow, Haydock, Kempton.