Saturday, 30 June 2012
: Firebeam is bidding for his first Pattern race success in the £55,000 Group Three John Sunley Memorial Criterion Stakes (3.35pm), which is the highlight on a competitive seven-race card at Newmarket today.
The four-year-old son of Cadeaux Genereux, trained in Newmarket by William Haggas, is one of eight runners in the seven-furlong contest and needs to bounce back from a slightly disappointing effort in France last time, when he finished eighth of 15 to Moonlight Cloud in the seven-furlong Group Three Prix du Palais-Royal at Longchamp on June 2.
He had made an eye-catching return in the Listed Spring Trophy over the same trip at Haydock, when beaten a neck into second by Group Two winner Red Jazz, after travelling well throughout.
Harry Herbert, managing director of owner Highclere Thoroughbred Racing's Blue Peter Syndicate, said: "I spoke to William (Haggas) yesterday morning and Firebeam seems in very good form.
"This looks like his ideal trip and ground, so it should be the right race for him given where he is ratings wise and everything else. It's a highly competitive race, but he seems really well and Hayley Turner takes the ride.
"Firebeam had to make his own running in France last time and it wasn't entirely satisfactory the way the race was run, but I think back here he will get into a better rhythm.
"He has won from the front and coming from the back so I think Hayley (Turner) will ride him how she finds him, but he will probably be nearer the front than the back because that is his style of racing.
"He is in great form and he is a horse we have always felt would be capable of winning a nice race and hopefully this will be his day."
It will be Turner's first ride on Firebeam who before his Longchamp run had never finished out of the first three.
The field also includes last year's winner Libranno, who returned to form with a narrow victory in the Listed Cathedral Stakes at Salisbury on June 17, while last season's Stewards' Cup hero Hoof It, who went on to finish a close third in the Group One Haydock Sprint Cup, is making his second appearance of the season.
The seven-race card gets underway at 2.00pm with the £150,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Cup over a mile and a quarter, for which 12 runners are set to go to post including John Gosden's unexposed Listed scorer Michelangelo and the Roger Varian-trained Cameron Highland, who looked a very useful prospect when winning a maiden at Redcar in April by eight lengths.
The card also features the Listed ACD Projects Supporting The Animal Health Trust Empress Stakes (2.30pm) over six furlongs for two-year-old fillies and the Listed Betfair Supports The Animal Trust Fred Archer Stakes (3.00pm) over 12 furlongs.
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