Marsh Cup preview: Carnwennan taken to complete four-timer at NewburyPublished on: July 18, 2019Author: David Metcalf
The thriving Carnwennan scored in terrific style last time out, so looks worth a wager at 9/2 with Paddy Power to defy a further rise in the weights and land the four-timer in the valuable 2m Marsh Cup Handicap at Newbury on Saturday (14:25).
This Charlie Hills trained four-year-old has taken his form to a new level since being stepped up to 2m, winning three times and finishing runner-up on two occasions.
After finishing a fine three-quarters of a length runner-up to Handiwork at Doncaster on seasonal reappearance, Carnwennan came from off the pace to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths from Mancini in a 15-runner affair at York.
He got put up 4lb for that taking success, but had no difficulty following-up at Chelmsford when again staying on strongly to score by 1 1/2 lengths.
Carnwennan scored with far more in hand than the winning margin suggests and only does enough to get the job done. That makes it hard for the assessor to get to grips with him.
Pattern performer in the making
He duly made light of 4lb rise in the weights to go in again when stepped up into class 2 company and landing the Northumberland Vase at Newcastle by 3 1/2 lengths from Rare Groove off a mark of 87.
After racing in mid-division, Carnwennan was produced earlier than usual to take up the running two from home by regular pilot Stevie Donohoe.
The son of Cacique then forged clear to quickly put the race to bed and win with tons in hand.
It was a totally dominant display in a very competitive 15-runner affair and one which suggested there was even better to come from Carnwennan.
He is a handicapper on a serious upward curve who could well be a pattern performer in the making, so a revised rating of 94 could still underestimate his ability.
This race should also be run to suit and, with Donohoe once again in the saddle, there is simply nothing not to like about the chances of Carnwennan.
Hence we had no hesitation in making him our main selection in this Marsh Cup preview from Newbury.
Proschema a key player in Marsh Cup
In a race where a case can be made for plenty of the 16 runners, Proschema looks weighted to go well on the pick of his form and worth considering each-way at 9/1 with Betfair having shaped really well last time out on his first try at this trip.
This Tom Dascombe trained four-year-old won his first two starts last season in the manner of a useful prospect.
He went on to run a blinder when staying on strongly to finish a never nearer 1 1/2 lengths third of 16 to the progressive Ghostwatch in the Melrose Handicap over 1m 6f at York off a mark of 100.
Proschema has had just four starts this season and shaped nicely on the second of those over 1m 4f at York when a 5 1/2 lengths eighth of 18 to First Eleven in a hot renewal of the Jorvik Handicap.
The son of Declaration Of War was then stepped back up to 1m 6f at the end of last month.
He ran really well when sticking to the task and finishing a 1 1/2 lengths third to Red Galileo. That effort suggested he was crying out for 2m.
Proschema ran very well over it at Newcastle three weeks ago when keeping on strongly from well off the pace to finish a never nearer 1 1/4 lengths third of 19 to Who Dares Wins in the Northumberland Plate off 103.
He now meets the winner on 2lb better terms, so that may well be enough to see him gain his revenge on that rival given how the race panned out.
Proschema also remains unexposed as a stayer, so everything looks in place for a big run.
Lucky Deal the pick of Johnston duo
Red-hot trainer Mark Johnston saddles Lucky Deal and top weight Making Miracles. The former looks the pick of the pair and capable of going well at double figure odds.
This four-year-old son of Mastercraftsman is a typically tough sort from the yard who has won four of his last 11 starts.
The last of those successes came two starts back over 2m at Haydock where he raced at the rear, until being switched to the outside and making good headway two from home.
Lucky Deal was then produced to take up the running approaching the final furlong by Franny Norton and stayed on strongly to win going away by five lengths from Eden Rock off a mark of 98.
He got put up 6lb for that most taking display, but ran well off his revised rating when fourth of 11 to Cleonte in the extended 2m 5f Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Lucky Deal is now able to race off 1lb lower and the drop down to in trip is a big plus, as he has a strike rate of 40 per cent over it having won twice and been placed twice in just five tries.
Quick ground also holds no fears for Lucky Deal and Norton, who gets a great tune out of him, is once again in the saddle.
So, with Johnston banging in winners for fun, he looks capable of hitting the frame in the Marsh Cup at least. Lucky Deal in thus another that appeals as an each-way punt at 12/1 with BetVictor.