4:20 – Yarmouth – RACING WELFARE HANDICAP (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-100) Good To Firm 1m6f17y
In the six previous running’s of this race three year old’s have won it on five occasions. The 3 year old’s entered in the race come from some of the top yards in the country with representatives from Mark Johnston, Saeed Bin Suroor, Sir Michael Stoute and Sir Mark Prescott entered up. It is like a who’s who of staying trainers. However, the representative of David Simcock’s yard is the selection. Montaser has been going from strength to strength recently and has a very progressive profile that will be tested to the full today.
Montaser has a real staying pedigree being by the Arc winner Rail Link out of a mare by the Canadian sire Northern Baby who was a son of the great Northern Dancer. As such he only made his 2 year old debut last August when he won at Ffos Las over 1 mile. He ran just once more last year at the Ayr Gold Cup meeting in Soft ground when he finished 2nd.
He had no luck on his seasonal reappearance at Doncaster at the Lincoln meeting. He was stepping up to 1 mile 2 furlongs but was trapped inside and never got a run. He got out into the clear when it was far too late finishing strongly. He next ran at Chester in May over 1 mile 4 furlongs and again encountered traffic problems as well as being bumped which stopped him momentum as he finished 4th.
He ran again in May at Haydock over 1 mile 4 furlongs but this time he had a clear run down the rails and stayed on well to get up on the line to win by a neck. The ground was riding on the firm side of Good to Firm and Montaser definitely appreciated the faster surface on what was the first time he has run on anything faster than Good.
He has a break until 27 July when he was last seen contesting a Class 2 Handicap at Ascot over 2 miles. The ground was riding Firm and Montaser again showed his preference for a fast surface as he was merely shaken up over 2 furlongs out the take the lead before being pushed out over the final furlong to win by a comfortable 3 ¾ lengths.
He drops down in trip to 1 mile 6 furlongs today but has shown that the trip should suit with wins over both 1 mile 4 furlongs and 2 miles on his last two starts. He also gets the Good to Firm ground he appreciates.
He is ridden by the in form Franny Norton who rode him on his last start at Ascot for the first time. Franny has ridden 9 winners from 28 runners in the last 7 days for a 32.14% winning strike rate. It is possibly significant that he keeps the ride on Montaser has he has only had 5 rides for David Simcock in the last 5 seasons. However, to counter this, Franny has ridden 127 times for owner Dr Marwan Koukash including 17 wins from 80 rides this season.
Montaser has been put up another 8lbs by the handicapper for his Ascot win and today’s race looks extremely competitive. The Sir Mark Prescott runner, Reapeter will no doubt be the hot favourite after his 4th place in the Doncaster Cup last week and as he is due to go up 14lbs next week could be said to be thrown in today. All of Mark Johnston’s are running well at the moment and he has another double yesterday. However, Montaser comes into the race with the best form on offer and is a serious player in the Cesarewitch market at a current price of 12/1. With Franny Norton in the plate on ground that he thrives on and with stamina to spare Montaser should go very well today.