Lean on Plymouth Rock at Newmarket

Plymouth Rock can gain handsome dividends for a descent in distance at Newmarket today.

Jeremy Noseda's four-year-old arguably found two miles too far at Headquarters last time, but will be in his element in the J2O White Blend Handicap.

The son of Sadler's Wells travelled with great fluidity on his last start, but was enable to crank up the gears at the business end and came home an honourable third.

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That display firstly highlighted his suitably for cut in the ground, which seems likely for this assignment, while at the same time serving notice of his propensity for a mile and six at this stage of his career.

Plymouth Rock's form earlier this season is also extremely good, even though he has yet to win in 2010. A key cause for optimism must be derived from his penultimate start over this trip at Haydock, where he was denied a head by Lady Eclair.

With that rival having since won a Listed race at Chester, and with the third home, Wicked Daze, finishing second in a hot York handicap last Friday, the form clearly looks exemplary.

Raised just 1lb for his Newmarket foray, Plymouth Rock can seize the day against many unexposed and undistinguished rivals.

Lady Eclair's trainer, Mark Johnston, has another nice staying prospect in the shape of Rawnaq, who boasts solid claims in the totepool Handicap at Thirsk.

The Azamour gelding has been set some ultra-stiff tasks this term, competing against the likes of Dandino, Zuider Zee and Awsaal.

He relished the step up to two miles at Beverley last time, though, when finishing second behind smart stablemate Keenes Day.

Although comprehensively beaten that day, Rawnaq rallied gamely towards the finish, having attempted to make all of the running, and only went down by half a length.

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With similarly sharp animals as Keenes Day not on show in North Yorkshire, Johnston's charge looks an appealing proposition.

Nepotism has invariably shaped promisingly at Bath and has a really good opportunity in the Las Iguanas Handicap. Malcolm Saunders' colt caught the eye over this flying five furlongs last month when showing plenty of early dash to take third behind the decent Lutine Bell.

The three-year-old son of Piccolo has, intriguingly, been dropped 3lb since that run and looks to be coming to hand nicely - as long as there is no more rain.

Bahamian Sunset holds obvious claims at Hamilton.

Richard Fahey's youngster is already a winner this term, over six furlongs at Ayr in July, and again looked firmly on the up when fourth at Goodwood.

The form from that race is already beginning to look airtight as the fifth home, Puddle Duck, last week scooped a decent pot in a York nursery.Bahamian Sunset will no doubt get farther in the fulness of time, but still looks the one to be on in the totepool Autumn Finale In September Nursery.

Watts Up Son has shown gradual improvement this term and could be well weighted off a mark of 68 in the 6Box Charity Night Nursery at Newcastle.

Johnston can also land another winner on Ffos Las' mixed card courtesy of Jutland, who should go well in the toteswinger Flexi Betting Handicap.

Meanwhile, Goodwood clerk of the course Seamus Buckley reports the track to be recovering well after the heavy rain which forced last night's card to be called off.

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Buckley had to abandon their planned fixture after 50 millimetres of rain fell at the track in 22 hours. The Sussex venue is set to race again on Saturday and Sunday, with the Celebration Mile and Prestige Stakes on the first day the highlights of the meeting.

Buckley has called an 8.30am inspection today to assess their prospects of racing but he has issued an upbeat bulletin as conditions continue to improve. "We had a bit of drizzle between 6am and 12noon today but it's been partially dry since then," he said. It is drying out but we will stick to the precautionary inspection at 8.30am and we are very hopeful of racing. The waterlogged areas are improving.

"There is the possibility of overnight showers and while we wouldn't want another 30mm, five or six would be OK. We would dearly love to make a good decision at 8.30am tomorrow as we feel that would be best for all involved - trainers, owners, jockeys and the media. However, if we feel we have to have a look in the afternoon, we will do that. We're not out of the woods yet but things are getting better."


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