Ittirad can build on promise of seasonal debut
By Stephen, bettingexpert.com | Published
Google+: Stephen Harris
Roger Varian's Ittirad made a promising return to action at Epsom and is fancied to land Haydock's featured Trust Inns Publicans Handicap at 3.50.
The 4-y-o is a strong type who was clear-cut winner of a decent 1m4f Newcastle maiden last spring. He has been in and out since, often failing to fulfil market confidence when well backed last season, but he was gelded prior to his reappearance 49 days ago and shaped much better than the bare result in fourth. Neil Callan possibly chased too strong a pace on that occasion and seems sure to be more patient today, with the ground sure to be testing again after a deluge of rain in the past week.
The £10,300 prize money has attracted a competitive field with perhaps course and distance winner Number Theory the most feared. John Holt's 4-y-o was third in a warm handicap first time out and stripped fitter for that when sprinting five lengths clear 20 days ago. The assesor has harshly lumped him up 10lb in the ratings and the underfoot conditons will be much softer this afternoon.
Purification has been lightly raced throughout his career and was off ten months prior to returning recently. He came forward when third to Ramona Chase at Windsor and the fitting of first time blinkers may bring about more improvement.
Mica Mika hails from the in-form Richard Fahey stable and is solid marker at this level. He won over hurdles in December and has returned to the Flat better than ever, winning gamely at Chester before finishing runner-up to Mulaqen at York. He is 3 lb higher now and up against more unexposed rivals but is sure to be thereabouts and is an each-way alternative to our selection.
Alakhan is worth a precautionary check in the market after 203 days on the sidelines. He won impressively at Chester after a long break last term, and shaped far better than the result on all three starts afterwards. This step up in trip is not sure to suit however, and the soft ground may test his stamina reserves to the limits if not fully tuned up.
Albaraka seems to have plenty of weight after being highly tried in Group 3 and Listed class when last seen out, while topweight Eye of the Tiger would only be of interest if the cash arrived from the astute Barney Curley operation.
At a bigger price Very Good Day may outrun his odds. The 5-y-o has only one maiden win to his name from 12 career starts, but has been pitched into some warm handicaps and performed with credit when fourth at York last time. The Mick Channon yard is in the winners and he might suprise some more fancied rivals on ground that should be ideal.
In summary, a wide open contest but Ittirad is still open to improvement and is a confident choice. At around 6-1 this morning he is worth a win investment in the hope he is ridden with far more restraint than on his seasonal bow.
Stephen's Wednesday Nap Dil Laney 2.30 Beverley
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