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Night Raider Speed Figure – Southwell 20/03/2024

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Night Raider Speed Figure – Southwell 20/03/2024

5:30 Southwell 

  • 1st – Night Raider
  • 2nd – Cogitate
  • 3rd – Dashing Donkey

Night Raider Speed Figure – Southwell 20/03/2024

Night Raider fails to impress on the clock…

Night Raider Trainer Karl Burke decided to send his exciting 2000 Guineas prospect Night Raider back to Southwell, the scene of his debut run demolition job back in December of last year, for his follow up assignment on Wednesday evening.  Lining up in a 7f Novice Stakes over 7 Furlongs at the Nottinghamshire venue, the son of Dark Angel made short work of his six rivals as he made all the running to come home 5 lengths clear of Cogitate with 14 lengths and more back to the rest of the field.  In short, it looked to be little more than an exercise canter as jockey Danny Tudhope kept it simple and allowed Night Raider to stride on and go from the front.

He had most of the field off the bridle before the turn for home and whilst hanging slightly left in the run, he was soon straightened up to come home unchallenged.  Bookmaker reaction was swift and he is now generally a 14/1 shot with many operators for the 2000 Guineas with a few bookmakers offering as low as 10/1 for the Newmarket Classic.  When dissecting the performance a little more, he beat a horse in Cogitate who had won a Newbury maiden on debut and who then subsequently ran below expectations in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at the York Ebor Meeting.  He adds a little substance to the form however the horses in behind him at Southwell seemed to be a very ordinary bunch with the third horse returning at odds of 125/1 and the fourth horse having been beaten in a claiming hurdle and a selling hurdle on his previous two runs!  The clock also failed to substantiate the form.  Although Night Raider produced the best time of the evening, his actual speed figure was only marginally better than the speed figures produced by the winners of the following 5f and 1m6f Class 5 handicaps. 

This would suggest that the race was relatively ordinary from a time perspective.  The overall times on the evening give rise to the suggestion that the official going description of ‘Standard’ was indeed the correct description and so it would be stretching it somewhat to suggest that a slow surface may explain the lack of a substantive speed figure.  And so when analysing the form and the time of the race, it is difficult at this stage to suggest that we saw a genuine 2000 Guineas winner at Southwell.  That is not to suggest that Night Raider is still a very good prospect and a potential group horse in the making however he would appear to have some way to go before he troubles proven Group 1 performers such as City Of Troy and Rosallion come the first week in May.

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