Tha'ir looks poised to triumph and maintain Bin Suroor's proud tradition
IN-FORM trainer Saeed bin Suroor holds genuinely strong claims of a securing an important Group Two success when THA'IR runs at York.
The Godolphin handler is in the middle of a lovely run and can add considerably to recent gains by saddling the winner of the Sky Bet York Stakes.
This mile-and-a-quarter affair is a race Bin Suroor knows well after having claimed top spot with Kirklees and Stage Gift in recent times.
Interestingly, Tha'ir charts an almost identical route to Yorkshire as Kirklees by winning the same race at Sandown beforehand. Tha'ir's performance in the Listed Gala Stakes in Esher must have absolutely delighted Bin Suroor as it was the five-year-old entire's first start since he ran at Meydan in February.
James Doyle was at his uncompromising best that day as he made every yard of the running to easily account for odds-on favourite Provenance by two and a half lengths.
Tha'ir has never convinced over a mile and a half, so it makes perfect sense to keep him at this trip at a track which should help exploit what is a pretty explosive turn of foot.
This is tougher than that Sandown race, of course, but the son of New Approach is highly likely to be a fitter thoroughbred with that run in safe-keeping. The Sky Bet Dash this season looks ripe for a mini-upset, with SHORE STEP perhaps fitting the bill.
It took the five-year-old gelding a couple of runs to find his mojo last term, but he did so in no uncertain terms, with convincing victories at Ascot in July and at Doncaster in September.
Mick Channon's inmate has again made stealthy, rather than spectacular, progress this season but might have come to hand just in time for this assignment.
Shore Step was not beaten far in a good race at Newmarket in May before he got to within two and a quarter lengths of Bushcraft in a valuable six-furlong handicap at Newcastle.
ASCOT: 1.30 Sixth Sense, 2.05 Besharah, 2.40 Mutasayyid, 3.15 Nakuti, 3.50 Golden Horn, 4.25 Space War, 5.00 Master Zephyr.
LINGFIELD: 5.30 Ballylare, 6.00 Anna Dolce, 6.30 Pyroclastic, 7.00 Evident, 7.30 Noor Al Haya, 8.00 Sleep Easy, 8.30 Naady.
NEWCASTLE: 2.10 Street Duel, 2.45 Aprovado, 3.20 Karaka Jack, 3.55 Exclusive Contract, 4.30 Simply Rouge, 5.05 Niceonemyson, 5.40 Bahamian Desert.
NEWMARKET: 1.55 Muntazah, 2.30 Calm Attitude, 3.05 Wee Jean, 3.40 Denzille Lane, 4.15 Raucous, 4.50 Weld Al Emarat, 5.25 Rosenbaum.
SALISBURY: 5.15 Stormbound, 5.45 Dandys Perier, 6.15 Triple Dream, 6.45 Jayjinski, 7.15 Holland Park, 7.45 Rideonastar, 8.15 Upstaging.
WEXFORD: 2.25 Catalyst, 3.00 Angel Of Joy, 3.35 Kennady, 4.10 Lomi's Law, 4.45 Pontificate, 5.20 Oceania Queen, 5.50 First In The Queue.
YORK: 1.45 Supreme Occasion, 2.20 Morache Music, 2.55 THA'IR (NAP), 3.30 Shore Step, 4.05 Point Of Woods, 4.40 Waterclock, 5.10 Ravenhoe.
DOUBLE: Tha'ir and Shore Step.