Scottish Daily Mail
NO GROUNDS FOR CONCERN OVER HANNON’S STAR
The potential for significant rain could alter the landscape of a number of today’s events, but
MOTAKHAYYEL (Ascot, 3.40) appears versatile ground-wise and should find the rigours of the tote+ Victoria Cup to his liking.
The Richard hannon-trained five-year-old was a revelation in competitive handicaps last summer, winning over today’s course and distance at Royal Ascot before supplementing the success with a cosy Bunbury Cup victory.
The tempo and rhythm of those two big-field handicaps appeared to suit the son of heeraat who travelled strongly on both occasions before putting the race to bed in style.
While Motakhayyel may not appreciate a bog at Ascot, other talented sons of heeraat, such as Aberama Gold and Magical Wish, both operate well with cut in the ground and conditions were on the easy side when he won at the Royal meeting.
An encouraging comeback at Thirsk behind winner Toro Strike, himself bound for the Group One Lockinge, should have blown away the cobwebs and the selection appears to have pace around him to aim at.
Quite how conditions ride at haydock is anybody’s guess but the enigmatic NORDIC COMBINED (haydock, nap, 3.10) could give another good account if in the mood at a track which suits. It is probably fair to say that the seven-year-old saves a little for himself, but he appeared fully motivated at hexham last Saturday and connections wisely try to strike again with him in good heart.
The selection has posted a number of good efforts at today’s venue and was arguably beaten by a well-handicapped rival in Vision Du Puy last month.
Irish raider Shanroe also makes plenty of appeal, with the form of his decisive Fairyhouse victory boosted at Punchestown last week.
Although he is a staggering 21lb higher in the handicap today, connections were talking of premier handicaps for the gelding following his last win, so the fact he is dispatched to england for this assignment could be a tip in itself.