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Under the Radar 24th Jan

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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”.

MIRAGE – 4YO Handicap – Cagnes-Sur-Mer 19th January – Finished 4th

With a career record of 0-10, MIRAGE is beginning to look a bit frustrating.

His breeding would suggest that he is at the right trip, racing predominantly over the mile and the Escuder yard can have no reason to complain about the form their horses are running in, yet he can’t seem to get his head in front. He has finished in the first 5 on 9 of his 10 career starts and his 4th placed finish here on a mark of 32.5-kilos was certainly not devoid of promise, though not for the first time in his career he managed to find a lot of trouble in running. Having settled nicely in rear for Maxime Guyon, he travelled extremely strongly into the race and was pulling his jockeys arms out at halfway. Once they turned in, he began to make ground but was forced to switch twice and had to wait until the 300-metre point before he was able to get a clear run. Once the gap came, he quickened through it and easily produced the fastest closing sectional of any horse in the field. Although his profile does raise question marks now, he is worth chancing next time on the same mark.

SENZA MALOCCHIO – 3YO Handicap (AW) – Cagnes-Sur-Mer 22nd January – Finished 2nd

SENZA MALOCCHIO is a half-brother to last year’s French 1,000 Guineas winner Coeursamba and after 2 starts over an inadequate trip, the step up in trip to 1800m at Lyon La Soie last month had brought out some significant improvement when he finished 2nd.

That race had worked out very well in the interim, with the 2nd and 4th winning on their next starts and everything pointed to Senza Malocchio being well treated on a mark of 35 for his handicap debut. It was no surprise to see him heavily backed from an opening price of 7/1 into an SP of just 7/2 on the international markets and having broken well, his backers would have been delighted to see him tracking the leaders as they rounded the bend. The issue with most French all-weather tracks is that there is no cut away rail in the straight and so horses on the inside do need the gaps to open, which isn’t always the case. Having travelled supremely well, Theo Bachelot wasn’t able to get the racing room he needed for his mount and that allowed the equally well treated Campello to get the first run and assert his advantage. Once in the clear, Senza Malocchio ran the fastest final furlong of any horse and looks a winner in waiting next time on the same handicap mark.

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