Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shamir Looks Set to Strike

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shamir Looks Set to Strike

Article excerpt

SHAMIR has proved a frustrating individual to follow so far this season but he has been found to perfect opportunity to get off the mark at Kempton.

The juvenile looked pretty ordinary when only seventh on his racecourse introduction at Newbury, but showed marked improvement to fill the runner-up spot on his next start at Lingfield.

He was beaten just half a length on his next outing at the same track, but was then only third when sent off at odds-on on his first try at a mile.

This return to seven furlongs will certainly aid his cause and while he is no world beater, trainer Jo Crowley will surely be disappointed if he is not up to winning the Win A Car At Median Auction Maiden Stakes (5.00).

Viper is a smart performer on his day and can defy top-weight in the William Hill Winter Festival - Book Now Handicap (5.30).

The seven-year-old has had his limitations exposed in Group company and the Cesarewitch earlier in the year, but his recent second over this course and distance suggests his turn is not far away.

Tidal Bay failed to live up to expectations last term but the Grade Two Peterborough Chase (2.00) at Huntingdon presents an excellent opportunity to get back on track.

The eight-year-old looked set to be one of the headline acts after winning both the Arkle and the Maghull Novices' Chase but after an initial second in the Tingle Creek, Howard Johnson's charge somewhat lost his way.

Stepped up to three miles for his next two starts, Tidal Bay did not see out the trip while an interrupted preparation counted against him in the Ryanair.

He flopped at Aintree on his final outing but a summer wind operation seemed to work the oracle when he made his first start back at that track in October.

Tidal Bay was unfortunate to run into an on-song Monet's Garden in the Old Roan Chase but he tried his hardest to peg back the winner and there was little disgrace in settling for second.

He should feel the benefit of that outing as he lines up here and as Tidal Bay is getting 10lb off some of the leading hopes, he must be one for the short list. …

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