Dark Devil to de­liver the goods

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

DARK DEVIL can claim a first vic­tory of the sea­son when he takes the plunge in the Grif­fiths And Ar­mour Hand­i­cap at Hay­dock.

In a race that fea­tures a rash of ex­posed horses, the young grey can come to fore un­der the tute­lage of Richard Fa­hey.

A pleas­ing maiden win­ner at Red­car this time last year, the three­year-old son of Dark An­gel has only raced four times in what has been a quiet sea­son for him.

De­spite hav­ing caught the eye over seven and a half fur­longs at Ch­ester on his re­turn to ac­tion, when a stay­ing-on third be­hind Ian Flem­ing, the de­ci­sion to go up to 10 fur­longs seem­ingly back­fired at Ep­som and at this track in July.

Fa­hey had seen enough, and dropped back to a mile at Carlisle on Septem­ber 7.

The de­ci­sion worked rel­a­tively well, too, as he turned in a muchim­proved dis­play to fin­ish fourth, but beaten just three-quar­ters of a length in a blan­ket fin­ish.

A proven op­er­a­tor with cut in the ground and in re­ceipt of tons of weight from many older horses, Dark Devil is a ma­jor player on the same mark of 83 off which he did so well at Carlisle.

It will be in­ter­est­ing to see how Yangtze gets on in the Jeremy Kyle Hand­i­cap.

An ac­com­plished win­ner at Sandown in July, a dis­tinct lack of pace counted against him over a mile and three-quar­ters at Chelms­ford last time as he could only fin­ish fourth be­hind Ten­z­ing Nor­gay - thought ad­mit­tedly not beaten far at all.

A rea­son­ably-treated stayer with very few miles on the clock, Yangtze has been hand-picked a lovely op­por­tu­nity to rediscover that golden touch.

New­mar­ket’s card is re­ally strong, but not nec­es­sar­ily from a punt­ing per­spec­tive.

Frankel filly Fair Eva, for in­stance, re­ally ought to be win­ning the Shad­well Rock­fel Stakes on her first start over seven fur­longs, but it is highly un­likely she will be avail­able at much of a price.

The Shad­well Joel Stakes has cut up quite badly, but it could be pre­scient that David O’Meara and Sir Robert Og­den de­cided to sup­ple­ment Amaz­ing Maria at the con­fir­ma­tion stage.

O’Meara’s in­mate has not got any­where near to her Group One-form of last sea­son, but she showed a lit­tle more vim at Deauville last time and must be do­ing plenty on the gal­lops at home to con­vince con­nec­tions to spin the wheel.

Wil­liam Hag­gas has his string in bril­liant form, with Fa­reeq taken to en­hance the fig­ures in the Flame Nurs­ery Hand­i­cap at New­cas­tle.

The gelded two-year-old brought spits and spots of rea­son­able form to the ta­ble in three maid­ens, not least when he took third place over this course and dis­tance on Septem-

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