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Under the Radar: 14th Feb

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Here at Sport Preview, we pay attention to detail, and we give as much focus to a maiden hurdle on a wet Wednesday at Clonmel as we do to a Group 1 at Ascot. With that in mind we will be publishing a weekly review of the weekends action to highlight some exceptional performances that you may not have seen. Here are this week’s horses that went “under the radar”.

D’BAI – Business Bay Challenge (Listed) – Meydan – 11th February – Finished 5th

He is an 8-year-old now and it was probably asking too much for D’Bai to make a winning start to 2022 after a break of 122 days. He was backed into Evens favourite on the international markets but looked in need of the run, with a wide draw in stall 12 not helping his cause. He was settled towards the rear by William Buick who chose to drop him in and he found himself 10-lengths off the early pace as they rounded the bend. The race was won by another Godolphin runner, Storm Damage, who made all under Pat Cosgrave and arrived here having had the benefit of a run 3-weeks earlier. D’Bai made up 6-lengths on the front runners in the closing stages once he was switched wide and ran on in a style that would suggest he will improve significantly for the outing. There is a new 7-furlong race that has been introduced this year on Super Saturday in a few weeks’ time and on this evidence, D’Bai looks a solid bet for that contest.

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CAZALLA – Class 3 Handicap – Lyon La Soie – 10th February – Finished 1st

She has taken her time to come to hand and this was her 11th career start, but the first time that she had managed to get her head in front when it mattered. On the face of it the form could be questioned, but the horses in behind her do bring some solid form to the table and we need to consider that this was just the 3rd start that Cazalla had made on the all-weather. Having been dropped in from a wide draw, she made good headway as the pace lifted on the home bend and stayed on nicely to record a length victory. The patient tactics seemed to do the trick, and, on this evidence, she could still be well treated on her new mark of 30-kilos. She is certainly unexposed on the artificial surfaces and there will be plenty of races over the coming weeks at Lyon and Marseille.

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