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Down in class Hamza can strike for our C4 Lucky 15

| 20.07.2013

We’re mixing codes for the latest edition of the Channel 4 Racing Lucky 15, with the listed Summer Plate from Market Rasen spicing up Newbury’s flat card with the thrills of good quality summer jumping.

Newbury 2:40 Ocean War @ 5/2

Saeed Bin Suroor’s yard are bouncing just now – with six winners and a further two placed horses from 13 runners since the start of the week – and he’s tag-teaming this listed affair with Royal Empire and Ocean War. It’s the latter who carries the weight of our wedge.

He hadn’t been seen since finishing down the field in the Derby won by Pour Moi when resurfacing in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot last month and was going well until being eased up whilst short of room inside the final furlong. Despite a sympathetic ride he still beat the re-opposing Dick Doughtywillie home and receives more weight from that rival here.

One of three in the select field to previously score on the going, he’s two from three at this trip and should have come on plenty for his Ascot run.

Newbury 3:15 Hamza @ 3/1

High-spec speedsters such as Regal Parade and Deacon Blues have taken this Group 3 heat in recent runnings, but this year’s race looks a more modest affair and Krypton Factor – third behind Diamond Jubilee and July Cup one-two Lethal Force and Society Rock recently – is the clear form pick.

However, those two contests were run at a warp speed Group 1 gallop and this intimate six-runner affair should be more tactical in flavour, which will suit Hamza down to the ground. He lacked the pace to get to the front when in at the deep end in Group 1 company last time, but down in class he can have his way in front and dictate, with well judged fractions from partner Neil Callan yielding two victories in such fashion already this term.

Market Rasen 3:30 Paddy The Hare NAP @ 6/1

Dr Richard Newland has a chaser on the up in Paddy The Hare, who has yet to finish out of the medals in seven runs over the larger obstacles. He’s on a hat-trick here after a 12-length course and distance win off 12lb lower last time out, but the extra burden shouldn’t worry his backers unduly as he’d defied a 7lb rise to score on that occasion.

The short run-in at Market Rasen suits front-runners such as the eight-year-old and he’s paired with a jockey who knows the time of day at the Lincolnshire course in Tom O’Brien – a scorer aboard eight of his 22 chase rides there in the last five campaigns.

Newbury 3:50 Alutiq @ 15/2

The kind of contest that could drive a form scholar to drink, this large-field juvenile sprint does at least have two stand-out competitors in the shape of Lilbourne Lass and Alutiq. The former was a short head second to Sayerr, who went on to finish eighth in the mixed-gender Norfolk Stakes at Ascot, whereas the latter was seventh behind Rizeena – 16/1 second favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas – at the Royal meeting last time.

With this in mind it’s the latter – a course and distance winner – who gets the vote, with both of Lilbourne Lass’ victories coming at Bath’s idiosyncratic track.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Thomas Reynolds