1.50 Newmarket: Bet365 Mile Handicap (Class 2) ITV
16/18: Won over 7f or further previously (89%)
14/18: Carried 9st 4lbs or less (78%)
14/18: Had 2 or more runs that season (78%)
10/18: Unplaced in their last race (56%)
..9/18: Unplaced favourites (50%)
..8/18: Stall 8 or higher (44%)
..3/18: Won last race (17%)
..3/18: Winning Favourites (17%)
..2/18: Trained by Michael Stoute (11%)
..2/18: Ridden by Dane O’Neill (11%)
Motakhayyel (5/1) won the race in 2019
A field chock-full of interesting and unexposed sorts. ESTABLISH was made to work harder than the market anticipated to land the odds at Bath, but he’s worth plenty of credit for getting himself out of trouble, and looks the sort to thrive now returning to handicap company given his strong-travelling style. Finest Sound, Haqeeqy and Surf Dancer are a trio of others to note.
The Racing Horse Verdict:
1 FINEST SOUND 5/2 (3rd) 2 Eastern World 7/2 (2nd) 3 Haqeeqy 13/2 (Last)
Finest Sound showed plenty of promise behind good horses last season and on his first run since having a gelding operation/wind surgery (tongue-tie also new) he won with sufficient authority at Haydock over 1m on good to soft ground to be sent off favourite for the Britannia at Royal Ascot over 1m on soft ground, in which under his penalty he was clear of the rest behind an impressive winner. It is fair to say he bumped into one there and this 7lb higher mark isn't that off-putting as he looks likely to progress again.
There's every chance he'll get 1m2f this year so every chance he will be hitting the winning post hard, and Silvestre De Sousa takes over from Andrea Atzeni and a preferred jockey booking. Finest Sound was a first winner for the new partnership of Simon and son Ed Crisford and we note 3 of their last 7 runners have won at odds of 12/1, 15/8 and 15/2.
The main danger must be Eastern World who is a half-brother to top-class Thunder Snow and sent off odds-on favourite for all his runs. He is another who looks certain to progress again.