Early pace is often the key to success on the straight course at Newbury and prominent racers have certainly fared well in the 7f Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Handicap (4.10) in recent years, with the winners described as follows…
2016 – abandoned
2015 – ‘made all’
2014 – ‘tracked leader’
2013 – ‘made all’
2012 - ‘disputed 2nd, led inside final furlong’
2011 – ‘chased leaders, driven to lead 1f out’
2010 – ‘tracked leaders’
2009 – ‘made virtually all’
2008 – chased leaders’
2007 – ‘tracked leaders’
Also, eight of the above nine winners were make their seasonal debuts.
Trying to second guess jockeys and work out where the pace will come from is not always easy but the Andrew Balding-trained INTIMATE ART (stall 6 of 16) made all when impressing at Kempton on his final start last year and his trainer’s two runners in this contest in the past ten years have both run well before progressing to better things – Here Comes When was second by a neck under a hold-up ride after taking a keen grip in 2013 and subsequently scored twice at Group 2 level, while Brief Encounter, who was described as ‘going on close home’ when sixth of 16 in 2009, landed competitive handicaps at Newmarket and York on two of his next three starts.
Intimate Art – Newbury 4.10 (1pt each-way, 22-1 William Hill, Coral, BetVictor)