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A blank day yesterday, with two runners finishing second, and one back in fifth, missing the places by one. I'm baffled with Franny Norton's ride on Coase. The horse was cruising, and he was felt he had Frankel underneath him, as the gap he gave himself to peg back the leaders was a joke. He traded 1/5 in running, and was beaten by a neck. Rides like that need to be questioned by the stewards, but they never do.
It would be a massive surprise if HAROYA wasn't better than the basement mark of 67 that she has received for her handicap debut. Though she is still a maiden, she has ran with encouragement every time she has been on the track.
The two runs at Dundalk from early February and early March will have put her in good stead for the flat turf season. In theory, she has a head start on most of the horses in this field, in terms of fitness, due to those two runs on the all weather. She's had a gap of 25 days for this race, which is enough for her to recharge her batteries, and is a similar amount of days she had from her 2nd to 3rd run. I think the winner of her most recent start at Dundalk is an above average horse, possibly a horse who could reach the late 90s/early 100s in the handicap. He recorded an RPR of 86 on his second start, and was well supported into EVS favourite, so connections knew they had a decent one on their hands, especially when you consider he was 12/16 on debut. The horse back in 3rd that day has since been given a handicap mark of 74, which is 7 more than Haroya, yet she finished 1.25L in front of him, which gives the impression that she has been treated lightly by the handicapper, and this looks a perfect opportunity to break her maiden tag and crack on with hopefully a productive flat season over longer distances in time.
She is by Golden Horn, so the drying ground should play to her strengths. The top weight she has to carry isn't ideal, but I think she is a class above her opposition, and she'll hopefully be able to prove me correct.
12:29 Fontwell - Race: 1
12:46 Uttoxeter - Race: 1
12:55 Punchestown - Race: 1