Newbury preview: Technician fancied for Geoffrey Freer glory

Published on: August 16, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
Our Newbury preview says take Morando on in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes with potential improver Technician

Technician looks decent value at 6/1 with Bethard to land the spoils in the extended 1m 5f Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury on Saturday (14:25).

This Martyn Meade trained colt shaped with plenty of promise on his sole start as a juvenile when a tenderly handled 7 1/4 lengths third of 13 to the very smart Space Blues at Nottingham.

It was a run which suggested he would make up into a smart three-year-old once he strengthened up.

That view was confirmed when Technician made all and won impressively by 3 1/4 lengths over 1m 4f at Leicester on reappearance back in April.

The son of Mastercraftsman was then pitched in at this level and ran a cracker when runner-up to Bangkok at Sandown.

After tracking the leaders on the inside, Technician was denied a clear run two from home when the eventual winner swooped to the front.

When switched by jockey Oisin Murphy to see daylight, Technician squeezed through a tight gap entering the final furlong and stayed on strongly to be baeten just 1 1/4 lengths.

Given how the race panned out, it was a terrific effort and he was arguably an unlucky loser.

Top rated in Geoffrey Freer Stakes on adjusted figures

Bangkok is a smart sort who has since finished runner-up to Japan in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The winner of that, meanwhile, has gone on to land the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp and confirm himself as one of the best three-year-old middle-distance colts around.

That gives the form a solid look and Technician went on to land a Listed contest at Longchamp two starts later when showing a game attitude to beat Battle Of Toro by a short-head.

Although not so good last time out when a 6 1/4 lengths sixth of nine to Nayef Road in a Group 3 at Glorious Goodwood, he was forced to race wide before fading late on.

Technician appeals as the type that may have more to offer now stepped up in trip.

On adjusted ratings, he comes out 2lb clear of the top-rated favourite Morando – who looks plenty short enough at a top-price 6/5 with Unibet and worth taking on as a result.

So, at the odds on offer, it’s Technician that’s overpriced and he gets our vote to come out on top in what is a trappy renewal of the Geoffrey Freer Stakes.

Sun Power can prove too strong for Denford rivals

The Listed 7f Denford Stakes for juveniles (13:50) looks a match on paper between Juan Elcano and Sun Power.

Preference is for the latter who’s improved for each of his four outings and has some decent form in the book.

Trained by Richard Hannon, this son of 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder came good at the second time of asking when running on strongly to score by two lengths at Wolverhampton.

That taking success earned him a crack at Listed 7f Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot where he finished a highly credible fourth of 14 to Pinatubo.

After being steadied at the start and held-up at the rear, Sun Power made headway on the stand side and stayed on strongly to be beaten 6 3/4 lengths without ever quite having the pace to land a blow.

The Godolphin owned Pinatubo has since gone on to bolt up by five lengths in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and confirm himself the best two-year-old seen out so far this season, so the form is far from shabby.

Sun Power then found another highly-regarded Godolphin colt Al Dabran a neck too good in a Listed contest at Ascot.

He looked set to score when taking up the running travelling strongly at halfway, but drifted left inside the final furlong and got chinned in the dying strides.

Judged on those efforts, Sun Power looks well worth a crack at this level.

At odds of 7/2 with William Hill, he makes more appeal than the favourite Juan Elcano who finished runner-up last time out in what was arguably a weak renewal of the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.

Class-dropping Ripp Orf weighted to collect

Now eased in grade, Ripp Orf looks weighted to get back to winnings ways in the 7f Unibet Handicap (15:00).

This David Elsworth trained five-year-old is a tough and consistent sort who has some very strong for to his name in ultra-competitive handicaps.

The son of Rip Van Winkle won four times last season, with the last of those successes coming in the valuable Cunard Handicap at Ascot where he swooped late to beat Cape Byron by half-a-length off a mark of 93.

He backed that up with a fine two-length second to Raising Sand in the 15-runner Challenge Cup at the same venue off a rating of 97 and has run well on several occasions this season in class 2 company.

They include when a 2 3/4 lengths fifth of 26 to Cape Byron in the Victoria Cup in Berkshire again off 95, and a fine sixth of 17 to Vale Of Kent in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket where he finished off with a rattle to be nearest at the finish and beaten just two lengths.

Ripp Orf was also far from disgraced last time out when a never nearer 3 1/4 lengths fourth of 23 to Raising Sand in the International Stakes at Ascot off his current mark of 93.

He is now able to race in this lower grade class 3 affair of 92 – 1lb lower than when last victorious.

It gives Ripp Orf outstanding claims from a handicapping perspective in what is the weakest race he has contested in ages.

So, taking everything into account, this looks a glorious opportunity for Ripp Orf to bag a fifth career success and he can be backed at 7/2 with 888Sport to do just that.