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Saturday, July 21, 2012
The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden (6.15), which opens this evening’s meeting at Lingfield - but will be run on turf, may be lost in the mire of a busy day’s racing but it could be a contest to note with the future in mind.
Tobacco Road is a horse that really caught the eye when finishing second on his debut at Kempton last month and while this isn’t a cakewalk, it’ll be disappointing if he cannot build on the promise of that run and convert this opportunity.
Richard Hannon’s colt pulled hard and took a lot of handling to get around the final turn on that occasion but he impressed with his attitude when asked to make his challenge.
While he never really looked likely to get to 'the Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained Snowboarder, he ran as well as could have been expected given how freely he had run for so much of the trip.
He also gave away plenty of ground swinging wide at the bend on that occasion and while there may be nothing in that except greenness, the fact that he is racing in the other direction today allays some of the fears.
Given that he’s bred for middle distances, it’s a little surprising that he is being run over seven furlongs again but the experience of his debut should have brought him on significantly and I expect he has the ability to cope with it.
Hopefully that experience will also have taught him how to settle and if that is the case, Richard Hughes may make plenty of use of him.
As said, he will stay further than this and provided it does not turn into a sprint, he must go close.
Marco Botti’s Yellow Mountain is the most interesting of his raced rivals.
The Coolmore-owned colt showed ability when finishing third behind Chesterfield on his debut and the form received a boost when fifth-placed Makafeh won what looked like a potentially decent maiden at Yarmouth next time.
He is the most obvious danger, although Michael Stoute’s Digress is likely to improve markedly for his first outing.
William Haggas is having a good year with his two-year-olds and well-bred newcomer Fehaydi is also worth a cautionary inspection in the market.
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