16th May 2012
York Betting: Buick to Storm home in Hambleton Stakes at York
3.00 York: Betfred Hambleton Stakes (Handicap) (Listed) (1m)
The most valuable handicap on day two of the York Dante meeting is the Hambleton Stakes over a mile. This Listed event is worth nearly £20,000 to the winner and thirteen runners have been declared although top weight Invisible Man has been withdrawn. This leaves Fury trained by William Haggis the highest rated horse in the field on a mark of 104 and he’s the second favourite in most bookmakers’ lists and is a top priced 13/2 with Stan James.
I think it’s fair to say Fury is becoming a tad frustrating after three placed efforts this season and connections must have thought he would have won at least once by now. He started off with a good third in the Lincoln and followed that with a second in the Spring Cup and finally was third in the Suffolk Stakes at Newmarket twelve days ago. He has gone up 6lbs for those three defeats and the trainer thinks he can step up to pattern company this season so he needs to start repaying that faith soon.
The favourite for the race is the Roger Varian trained Mijhaar; he makes his first start of the season and has to overcome a 315-day absence. He won at Haydock over 10f last season and then stepped up in class to run fourth to Nathaniel in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. His final run last season was at Newmarket last July where he was second to Fulgur in a handicap off a mark of 96; his rating has since been raised to 102 mainly due to Nathaniel’s success later on last season and now drops back in trip as well.
Richard Fahey has two runners in the line up and his best chance looks to be with Justonefortheroad, Tony Hamilton takes the ride for the absent Paul Hanagan, the 6yo is on a hat-trick after wins at Musselburgh and Thirsk, both over 7f and on softish ground so the return to a mile on good ground may be against him here. His other runner is Common Touch, he’s been off the track since last July but has won twice at York and may still be capable of improvement but this is a tough ask for his first run back.
Navajo Chief has been busy running four times in Meydan before finishing fourth to Penitent at Doncaster in April. He won here at York last August of a 3lbs higher mark than he gets in today with and has to be feared although would probably want it just a bit softer. David Simcock runs Trade Storm who was fourth in listed race on the AW at Lingfield over 10f in December, his best run last year was when a close up fifth to Sagramor in the Britannia Stakes at Ascot suggesting this mile is his best trip. He looks fairly handicapped and has William Buick in the saddle.
Of the others Bezique could be anything for Luca Cumani, he ran in the Italian 2,000 Guineas last May after winning his other three starts, he starts his handicapping career on a mark of 98 and its difficult to weigh up his overall form.
Plenty in with chances here but I do like Trade Storm for Buick. I would probably give Fury one last chance to shine in this company but if cant deliver here then I would have to question his battling qualities in future races.
2pts Trade Storm 10/1 Ladbrokes
1pt Fury 13/2 Paddy Power
Author: Graham Sarson