Racing News 7.6.2018 01:42 pm

Merit rating now points to Kassar in Sandown Handicap

Roger Charlton.

Roger Charlton.

Kassar had to concede weight to all but one of his rivals on his seasonal bow at Windsor.

London – Kassar is well worth following as he sets out on a new path in the Smarkets Handicap at Sandown today.

This son Exceed And Excel has done all his racing in novice company so far, but Roger Charlton now switches his attention to the handicap sphere. Kassar lines up on a mark of 84, which looks a reasonable perch given the ability he has shown in three starts to date.

Winner of one of his two juvenile outings last term, Kassar had to concede weight to all but one of his rivals on his seasonal bow at Windsor and it is to his credit he was only beaten 1.25 lengths in fourth.

He may well have finished second but for hanging in the closing stages, so that performance can be slightly upgraded again and he makes plenty of appeal.

Arch Gold also moves to the handicap ranks and he should also be followed as he makes the long trip south for Mark Johnston. He has yet to get his head in front in three starts but has not been disgraced, with his recent 0.75-length third a particularly pleasing effort on his first foray over 2000m.

Arch Gold was having his first run for five months that day so some progress is expected and this kind of middle distance now looks ideal.

Manor Park takes another leap up in distance for the Smarkets.com Young Stayers Handicap. Campaigned over 1400m at two, moving up to 2200m proved right up his street when out-battling Airmax at Windsor last month.

He kept on all the way to the line, so it is easy to see why Alan King switches up to 2800m this time.

Dawaaleeb was a comfortable winner of what appeared to be a competitive Beverley handicap last time out and can go in again in the Weatherbys General Stud Book Handicap at Ripon.

Trainer Les Eyre has set his sights on the John Smith’s Cup with this runner, so he will surely be searching out the best winning opportunities in an effort to raise that all-important handicap mark to get a run on the Knavesmire.

Fujaira Prince was an impressive winner at Wetherby last month and can repeat the trick in the Cumwhinton “Confined” Novice Stakes at Carlisle. While it may not have been the best novice race ever run, Fujaira Prince cantered home by six lengths and as a half-brother to the ill-fated staying hurdler Nichols Canyon, you would expect both time and longer distances to be in his favour. – Press Association

Geoff Lester’s top UK bets:

Haydock Race 2: 1 ANGEL’S HIDEAWAY Haydock Race 5: 2 LEO MINOR Haydock Jackpot: R81 (Leg 1 Race 4) – 2, 7, 10 x 1, 2, 6 x 1, 10, 11 x 2, 4, 7

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26 September 2018 GREYVILLE

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