Wednesday 17 January 2018

Spark plug can light up Cambridgeshire

Spark Plug will carry high hopes in the Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket today. Picture: ©
Spark Plug will carry high hopes in the Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket today. Picture: ©

Spark Plug could acquit himself with great purpose in the Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket today.

Trainer Brian Meehan has not had a marquee horse for quite a while now, but that might all change after the big handicap over nine furlongs.

Spark Plug has not won since last May, but that should not be too off-putting if his stealthy progress this summer is factored into the equation.

The five-year-old son of Dylan Thomas has turned in some encouraging efforts this season, not least when he got to within three-quarters of a length of Ayrad in a Listed race at Sandown in July.

There was also much to like about his most recent run at York on August 18 when he travelled like a good thing to finish fourth in a hot one-mile handicap that was won by Firmament.

Spark Plug surged gamely towards the finishing line on the Knavesmire - he was beaten under two lengths by the winner - which tends to suggest the extra furlong in the Cambridgeshire will suit him down to the ground.

A good horse with plenty of stamina and a shift of gear, he is only a few pounds higher in the weights than when he defeated GM Hopkins in a really good handicap at Newbury last year.

It seems very unlikely that Lady Aurelia will fluff her lines in the Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes, while Blue Point has scope for progress to probably give him the edge over Mehmas in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.

Saeed bin Suroor appears to have ridden out his well-documented storm this season and now the yard is firing on all cylinders again, Dubai Fashion can open her account for the year at Epsom tomorrow.

This Dubawi filly, which hails from the family of Nashwan and Nayef among others, has her first run since July as she lines up in the Bet totetrifecta At Handicap. A winner at Wolverhampton on her racecourse bow last September, the Godolphin team thought enough of her to give her a crack at Listed company before shipping her out to Dubai for the Carnival.

Neither of those decisions particularly paid off as Dubai Fashion failed to trouble the judge, but she showed more than a modicum of promise when tried in handicap company on her British return at Newmarket a couple of months ago.

Alsacienne should make her mark switched up to a mile and six furlongs in the Robert Purvis Plant Hire Ltd Handicap at Musselburgh. She looks a typical Sir Mark Prescott improver as she tackles longer distances.

Irish Independent

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