Hasanour Has A Chance In The Irish Cambridgeshire
One of the biggest flat handicaps of the season takes place at the Curragh on Sunday via the Irish Cambridgeshire (4.35)…
…and with six of the last seven winners having returned at 12/1, 16/1, 20/1, 25/1 16/1 and 25/1, a juicy winner could well be up for grabs.
Covering the last 10 Irish Cambridgeshire winners…
10 ran in last 11-45 days
9 were 3-6yo’s
9 ran at the Curragh previously
9 won a handicap – others were 1-56
8 were officially rated 84-95
5 won over C&D (5-42, 12%) – 5 others were 5-169 (3%)
M Halford won it twice
Those that ran at Gowran, Dundalk or Tralee last time were 0-45
One of the most eyecatching trends concerns those officially rated 84-95, which gives Jim Bolger’s, Maggie Dalton (rated 94), a good chance. Winner of a decent 1m handicap in June, this 5yo mare stayed on strongly over C&D last month. She could go close if the ground stays dry.
Kevin Condon’s, Strait Of Zanzibar, also won earlier in August when taking a minor 7f event, following a 1m handicap the previous month. He will need to step up from a mark of 87, though, as he has been held from this rating in the past.
Those with winning C&D form are always worth a second look in this race, including the old warrior, Bold Thady Quill, who was second in this two years ago (from 12lb lower) and has been thereabouts in similar handicaps here. The concern is that he is too high in the weights, but still makes each-way appeal.
Michael Halford has won this prize twice since 2004, and has several interesting candidates, including the improving, Hasanour. This 4yo impressed in landing his last two races, both 1m handicaps. The latter was over this C&D, which as mentioned is a bonus, and he will be feared if the ground stays dry.
Halford also has Won Diamond, who was third in a 1m handicap in June before flopping next time, while Warbird also disappointed when last seen. Both have been rested for this and the market should prove interesting regarding their chances.
Kevin Prendergast is another trainer to have onside when a valuable pot is on offer, and his Vastonea has already won a big prize via the Topaz Mile at Galway in July (1m, good). He ran well in defeat over 1m3f a few weeks ago and is entitled to be involved, though stablemate, Maskoon, may be a touch high in the handicap.
Females struck twice in this race during the last decade, and Sophie’s World will be less ground dependant than others. A 7f handicap winner in the April mud, she then disappointed before bouncing back to land a valuable 1m handicap at Galway in July (good).
Not many candidates cross the Irish Sea attempting to steal the prize, but Michael Dods sends Muharrer, who has already picked up a couple of 1m handicaps this season. The soft ground wasn’t suitable at Thirsk last time, but he is an improver to note if the ground doesn’t soften.
A combination of the good record of C&D winners along with Michael Halford having won this prize twice in the last 10 years points up the chances of Hasanour, who is open to more improvement from a lightweight.