Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum has started 2015 in reasonable fashion with a 15% strike rate of winners and he will be wearing the broadest smile of all following the opening day of York’s Dante meeting.
Two of his runners are well fancied to land the spoils and these should be paired up into a win double, which returns £220 to a £10 stake.
Here are the duo in question:
The draw gods have certainly taken a dislike to Mahsoob, as this is his second start running where he has a stall towards the wide outside of a big-field handicap.
He overcame this obstacle last time to win by a neck, but has been raised another 8lb here. Some good news is that the second at Newbury, Nancy From Nairobi, has finished in the same position since from a 5lb higher mark.
Five of the last seven editions of this 1m2f renewal have been won by four-year-olds and one of the younger pretenders on the upgrade is fancied to emerge victorious again at the expense of a more exposed older entrant.
Other trends that work in favour of Mahsoob are that 10 of the past 13 winners have previously tasted victory over this trip, nine carried 8st12lb or more and eight had already been seen on course in the same season.
John Gosden is no stranger to winning this middle-distance contest either, training Gatewood to victory in 2012.
It is expected that the ground being slightly easier than last time should work in Mahsoob’s favour and the fact that he holds entries in a pair of Group 1 showdowns, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Coral-Eclipse, suggests he is better than handicap company.
While the draw is far from ideal for Mahsoob, stall five looks perfect for Muthmir in this Group 2 sprint, especially as nine of the last 13 winners have broken from no higher than stall seven.
He is a previous course and distance winner and was well fancied for the Stewards’ Cup last season at Glorious Goodwood, but the race may have come too soon after his exploits at York.
Muthmir bounced back to take the Ladbrokes Portland Handicap when last seen, breaking the course record from a career-high mark despite stumbling at the start, and is expected to be just as spectacular on his season reappearance here.
It would be no surprise to see him filling the places in Group 1 company later in this campaign and the good ground is no bad thing for William Haggas’ five-year-old. In fact, he would probably relish conditions more if they were even quicker.
The favourite has taken this in four of the last 13 years and Muthmir should go off at the head of affairs in what looks a tight market.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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