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‘Royal’ success for Henderson?

Published: 
Saturday, December 30, 2017

City Gent is long overdue a first success and, judged on his solid, reliable, time-handicap mark over five furlongs in a 2-y-o handicap on Kempton polytrack in October, Ralph Beckett’s charge could make it sixth time lucky today.

This Holy Roman Emperor gelding is one of five ‘decs’ in a Nursery Handicap over six furlongs at the Surrey venue and Oisin Murphy replaces Richard Kingscote, who appeared to overdo positive tactics aboard City Gent in a similar race at the Kew course three weeks ago; perhaps he was instructed to set a strong gallop.

No needs to mince words, City Gent ‘cracked’ a long way out and, consequently, recorded a mark well below those achieved in two previous outings; this time blinkers are fitted, for the first time!

Often wonder why ‘equipment’ is fitted and what purpose they serve, especially for juveniles!

Throughout the last fifty years I’ve always believed hoods, blinkers, or whatever, were designed to ‘light up’ thoroughbreds; City Gent needs to enter stalls becalmed.

Chances are top-weight Joegogo will ensure a fast pace and set-up this dash for a closer, like City Gent, or another strong finisher, Richard Hannon-trained Zabaletaswansong, second-in on my time-figures.

An interesting race undoubtedly, fascinating to see how this noon showdown pans out.

Colourful Career isn’t living up to his name but faces what should be a simple task in the five-runner Maiden Stakes over a mile and a quarter; two furlongs further than this Ed Dunlop-trained More Than Ready gelding has attempted to date.

Obviously stamina will be at issue for many punters but Colourful Career has managed half-decent time-figures twice and against way inferior rivals experienced ex-champion all-weather jockey, Adam Kirby should be able to ‘do the biz.’

‘Kirbs’ is a class act, cool, calm and collected with flair for the big occasions; a man to have on your side.

Rest of this eight-race programme comprises six ‘aged’ handicaps which will be for ‘guessers’ given the size of fields and tricky draw situations. Royal Ruby, one of six Nicky Henderson entries for an eight-runner Introductory Hurdle over two miles of ‘heavy’ Newbury, is declared, mount of imperious, confident

Nico de Boinville; a cast-iron eachway proposition, but make sure they all run!

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