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Sport Preview: Under The Radar - Mon 31st Jan 2022

Under the Radar: Mon 31st 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”.

IKORIKO – 4YO Chase – Pau 29th January – Finished 1st

A daughter of leading National Hunt Sire Cokoriko, IKORIKO has taken her time to develop as a jumps prospect but the switch to chasing seems to have done the trick and she won this race, her 6th start, with some ease.

After 3 runs over hurdles in the summer, her connections wasted no time in sending her over the larger obstacles and she rewarded them with a 2nd place finish to the talented Morgan Has on her chase debut here in December. She was unlucky to be brought down on her next start on 10th January but proved that she wasn’t affected by that incident as she travelled extremely nicely throughout this contest to record a 5-length win.

Having hit the front at the 2nd last she quickened up nicely and although she did race wider in the home straight, this is nothing to cause alarm as many horses make for the outside rail as they come off the final bend of the chase course at Pau.  Her final circuit time was 2:14.83, easily the fastest circuit time in the month of January at the track and given how strongly she galloped through the line, there is surely more to come now that she has got her head in front.

MEARAS STYLE – 4YO Handicap (AW) – Chantilly 28th January – Finished 4th

A winner of 2 of her 32 career starts, MEARAS STYLE has perhaps not developed into the filly she looked like being when she finished 6th in a Group 3 at Paris Longchamp in September 2020.

She hasn’t managed to get her head in front since winning a Clairefontaine Claimer in October 2020, but there have been some signs of a revival in recent weeks as she begins to drop to a more reasonable handicap mark.

She finished 4th on Friday at Chantilly in a Class 3 handicap, but we can certainly upgrade that effort given the bad luck she had in the home straight. Having travelled nicely in mid-division, she was forced to switch and then snatch up behind the tiring leaders and by the time she did have a clear run, the winner had flown. She put her head down and ran hard between horses to snatch 4th, running a final furlong of 12.08s, easily the fastest time in the field. Her mark will remain unchanged and as a result she must surely be competitive next time with better luck in running.

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