NORTHWEST FRONTIER (Nottingham, nap, 4.35) has been frustrating since winning his maiden 11 months ago but better is expected now he tries two miles for the first time.
Not without ability, the four-year-old was tested in a £65,000 York race but came up short and his form tailed off into the autumn. A 150-day break ensued and the selection returned to action with two promising efforts, including when very well backed over 1m 6f at Musselburgh 19 days ago. However, not entirely happy with the Scottish venue’s tight turns, he could only run on at the one-pace.
Northwest Frontier now heads to Nottingham for the first time and, up in trip over a fairer course with a top speed figure, it will be disappointing if he isn’t successful.
AUSTIN POWERS (Nottingham, nb, 2.55) didn’t manage to live up to expectations as a juvenile but with that behind him and now gelded, looked more like it at Newmarket on Saturday. Quiet in the market, the three-year-old seemed to be doing everything right after his 175-day absence but capitulated late on against the warm favourite.
It looks significant that Austin Powers is back racing again so quickly.
KACHUMBA (Chepstow, 3.15) found her feet when tried on turf for the first time two weeks ago and can take advantage of the fast conditions in Wales. It wasn’t a great race that she won at Brighton but then for all the runners, neither is this.
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