herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Progressive Estidhkaar is primed to deliver in Dewhurst

Soft ground should not unduly knock ESTIDHKAAR off his stride when he takes aim at the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

This does not appear to be the strongest renewal of the coveted Group One on Future Champions Day, so a perfectly feasible argument can be made to suggest the young colt could be a cut above.

The Richard Hannon-trained juvenile has made breathless progress since his maiden was broken at Newbury in June, with a four-and-a-half-length rout of Aktabantay in the Superlative Stakes a clear sighter of his worth.

That run is especially significant as the runner-up has since shown up very well at the top table, while the ground was also pretty demanding at Newmarket that day - a factor which emboldens his chances for this.

Estidhkaar was then sent to Doncaster for the Champagne Stakes, in which he travelled a shade keenly which was perhaps caused by a lackadaisical early pace.

No matter, he still looked good enough and strong enough when it mattered to record a length-and-a-quarter defeat of War Envoy, who was only a length away in a Group One at Longchamp.

Despite his tender years, the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt already looks a bit of a street-fighter, so should be man enough to handle the exacting conditions at Newmarket.

Allied to his guts, his class should see him home under Paul Hanagan.

Stablemate Ivawood has looked one of the best young guns on the block this year and really ought to be winning the vision.ae Middle Park Stakes.

Hannon has opted to stay over six furlongs with the Zebedee colt, who has the pedigree to stay further but has already shown a most destructive shift of gear.

Unbeaten in three starts, one of which was a near-three-length thrashing of Jungle Cat in the July Stakes, Ivawood's best performance to date was at Glorious Goodwood.

Although the strength of the Richmond Stakes was questionable, what was not open for debate was the manner in which he zoomed four and a half lengths clear at the line.

With connections adamant the more demanding conditions will not be an issue, Ivawood can be trusted to sign off for the year in style.

Lucida will be popular in the Dubai Fillies' Mile, but compatriot Agnes Stewart might just have the edge.

Trainer Eddie Lynam has kept the Lawman filly under wraps since she readily claimed the May Hill at Doncaster - a race which has yielded the Fillies' Mile winner six times in the last 10 years.

A fluent traveller with no shortage of stamina, she has the look of a possible Oaks candidate, even at this early stage of the game.

Jamaican Bolt holds solid claims in the Griffiths And Armour Handicap at Haydock.

Geoff Oldroyd's six-year-old was a staying-on third in a hotly-contested sprint at York just a week ago and should appreciate the return to six furlongs.

The likelihood of testing ground will be ideal for the son of Pivotal.

Broctune Papa Gio is better than his last two outings might indicate and should be persevered with accordingly for division two of the Join The Racing UK Club Handicap at Redcar.

Clergyman is frustratingly still winless, but that might all change in the EBF Stallions Ultratek - The Ultimate Number Plate Median Auction Maiden Stakes at Wolverhampton.

Racing at Cheltenham makes a welcome, if slightly low-key, return, with Court Minstrel expected to run with honour in the squareintheair.com Novices' Chase.

Evan Williams' Grade Two-winning hurdler made a sound debut over fences at Newton Abbot last month and can take another big step forwards at Prestbury Park.

Commissioned looks ripe for a big show in the Harrison James & Hardie Maiden Hurdle.

Trainer John Ferguson has always been a big admirer of the four-year-old gelding, who was a good fourth in the Grade One juvenile hurdle at Aintree in April.

Another summer on his back should have done him the power of good and he looks destined to step back up again in class.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News