Garrick Knight assesses the form for key races on tonight's Flying Mile card at Cambridge.
With no I Can Doosit or Stig, ESCAPEE gets her chance from the ace draw. The mobile assists her chances greatly. SOVEREIGNTY has returned to form since rejoining the McCaffrey stable and he loves his home track. Two solid third placings suggest he's an eachway chance again. DR HOOK and RAYDON,whilst racing below their best, are too good to discount in this lineup. Only other consideration is another Cambridge hero in CHARLEMAGNE, who can place with luck in running.
IRISH WHISPER makes his racetrack return after a long layoff and gets in well here off 30m. Main danger with a clean getaway is the up-and-coming REALMEIN, who will relish the drop in class. PHOEBE REVIVAL and LOKI BROGDEN performed well last week when first and third respectively in a weaker race and look place hopes here. BROOKSIDE FILLY, DAMMIT INVASION and LUBY ANN rank as dangers who can win with the right run and look best of the rest.
LIVING THE DREAM was disqualified from a strong second placing in quick time last Monday due to interference caused at the start. Doesn't have to improve any to win this. Only danger looks to be SECRET DESIRE who brings good trial form to this race along with consistent raceday placings. WINDINHERHAIR returns from a let-up after a terrific winter but cops the outside draw and that makes it tough for her. SOVEREIGN FAITH and HENLEY FRANCO were both winners two starts back and met each other on Christmas Eve at this track with the former being an impressive winner. Place looks best for both here.
A sensational mix of the tried-and-true Cup performers vs the up-and-comers is the story of the mile this year. SMOLDA has continued his dominance he showed at three and brought it to the open class grade. The barrier draw has been kind and looks set to dominate, as he did Jewels day. On the flipside, GOLD ACE hasn't fared well with the draw but looks the main danger despite failing in the Victoria Cup last start. PEMBROOK BENNY was a dominant winner in the Manukau Cup on December 31 and is always a place chance. SIR LINCOLN has drawn poorly but loves the mile trip at Cambridge and has freshened well for this. Intrigue horse is 2009 winner AUCKLAND REACTOR, who comes off a poor spring.If he was to ever feature at this level again in New Zealand he must go well in this.Tough draw, though.
STATESMAN looks the bet of the night and punters should get the short odds around him here. Brings superb Alexandra Park form to this race. Should he miss away from the stand, MURPHY MAGUIRE was senstational when placing behind Kiwi Ideal on Dec 31 and can do similar again. GLENLOCHAR went well off a similar handicap last week and will relish the step up in distance this time. Crowd favourite CARLOS is always a place hope from a stand at Cambridge despite the step up in class and so, too, is UNDERWOOD ROAD, who will get one for consistency shortly.
R1 Sonic Classic Change Gear The Reid Runner
R2 Cillas Boy Free Will Rule Like A King
R3 Escapee Sovereignty Dr Hook
R4 Sofia Loren Heart Of Jessie Cullies Delight
R5 Irish Whisper Realmein Luby Ann
R6 Living The Dream Secret Desire Henley Franco
R7 Ohoka Punter Three Pints Condrieu
R8 Smolda Gold Ace Pembrook Benny
R9 Statesman Murphy Maguire Glenlochar
R10 Wingsonhai Lysenko The Royal Charger
Best Bet: Ohoka Punter
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