Tip Of The Day: Hatsaway, I like it
It's the Gordon Carter Handicap at Ascot today and our man Will Hayler is again looking beyond the favourites for his fancy.
I thought we said we weren't going to mention him again?
Mijhaar has led an interesting life to this point. If only he could tell us all about it.
He lines up today off top-weight in the Gordon Carter Handicap at Ascot, the race made most famous for being won by Frankie Dettori aboard Fujiyama Crest 20 years ago, but I think we've all heard quite enough about those events this week.
Mijhaar has done it all. Royal Ascot, Cheltenham, Aintree, the John Smith's Cup, the Cambridgeshire (twice). Last time out it was north to the Ayr Gold Cup meeting, presumably so that he could tick off another of racing's major Festivals from his bucket list.
The lowest ebb in my relationship with Mijhaar came in the 2012 John Smith's Cup, for which I had backed him not insubstantially at 8/1. He went off 7/2 and would have won (I always convince myself) but for being hampered between rivals and almost brought to a standstill halfway up the home straight. Perhaps he still thinks about that race as often as I do, because he doesn't seem to try very hard these days.
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If anyone is going to turn Mijhaar around, it's probably David O'Meara and the 10lb he has chiselled off the horse's rating since his purchase out of the John Ferguson dispersal is a useful thing to have on side, while the drop in grade also points today being the day.
Once bitten, twice shy though. Me and Mijhaar are no longer on speaking terms after a number of disappointments together over the years, so I'm looking elsewhere and am going to chance my arm on Hatsaway in the same contest.
After winning two handicaps in quick succession off a mark of 66 in June, the handicapper hiked him up a somewhat vengeful stone in the ratings, but I thought he ran quite well in the Cesarewitch Trial at Newmarket recently, trying to serve it up to the ridiculously well-handicapped Penglai Pavilion before running out of petrol close home.
That was quite a competitive race and to be beaten only half a dozen lengths by a solid yardstick like Shrewd, who lest we forget was second in the Ebor, was a pretty good outcome all told.
I was interested to read Pat Phelan say recently that his horses had been a bit sick for a few weeks in July and August, but that he thought they seemed back in good health again now (he was saying this after a winner, which is when all always seems right with the world again).
Victory today is going to require a career-best effort from Hatsaway, but that's what could well be on the cards now, especially with John Egan – who rode him to all three wins earlier this summer – back on board. He looked quite a smart prospect for Clive Brittain in his youth (maybe he can have a chat with Mijhaar about their Royal Ascot experiences) and may only now be ready to start delivering upon that potential.
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