The Citizen (KZN)

Catch a ferry to Windsor success

- Associatio­n

Harper's Ferry can build on two promising runs to secure a first career victory in the Free Digital Racecard At Novice Stakes at Windsor today.

Harper's Ferry defied his 50-1 odds on debut when being beaten just a nose in second in a novice contest at Newmarket last October.

The fact Ed Walker started over a mile with the colt indicates his expected stamina and he duly kicked off 2024 over 2000m at Doncaster last month, where he again had to settle for the runner-up spot behind Moon Over Miami.

Beaten 0.75 lengths, Harper's Ferry did not help his cause by racing keenly in the early stages, but he travelled supremely well before being pushed a little right by the eventual winner in the finish.

Entered in both the Dante and Derby, Harper's Ferry will have to make huge strides to merit those kinds of engagement­s, but a win in this would be a good starting point.

Majestic Heights already has a run under his belt this term ahead of the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes. The son of Coulsty was slowly away on his first attempt at Kempton and after being carried wide on the bend, he had far too much to do and could not make up ground, coming home a sevenlengt­h fourth.

That should have been an instructiv­e experience for Richard Hannon's runner and the lesson can be put to use for this event.

Hannon has another likely type on the card in Optiva Star, who contests the Irish Night 10th June Windsor Racecourse Handicap.

He enjoyed a fine second half of 2023 after a slow initial start, winning three of his eight starts from July and progressin­g from a mark of 64 to a finishing point of 75.

Optiva Star was disappoint­ing on his final run, coming home last of 12 in November, but given his first run of the year came in April, it may well have just been the end of a long season.

Look Back Smiling can follow up his Spring Mile win with victory in the Handicap at Redcar.

Trained by Gemma Tutty, the four-year-old relishes deep ground and showed this mile trip is well within his compass when winning the Lincoln consolatio­n event at Doncaster.

Raised 2kg for that win, he might have a little something still to work with, as he did drift across the Town Moor track slightly at the finish. –

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