Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark; Racing Preview

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark; Racing Preview

Article excerpt

Byline: NAOMI MATTHEW

THE Andrew Balding-trained Shot In The Dark looks the best bet on the card at Southwell in the 32RedBingo.com Median Auction Maiden Stakes (1.50).

Possibly outclassed on his debut behind Roger Varian's Farraaj, who ran so well at the Breeders' Cup, he showed up much better when dropped to a more realistic level at Chepstow. Shot In The Dark was second, despite running green, and with two runs now under his belt, the juvenile should know more about the job.

Charlie Cool has been drawn out in the car park in stall 13 for the 32RedPoker.com Selling Stakes (2.50) but his class should still see him prevail.

Having won a decent event at Redcar in September and despite rising nine, he can still cut up at a much better level than this when on a going day.

Knight Pass looks the star attraction on a low-key day at Folkestone.

Warren Greatrex has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds this five-year-old, who looked a horse of some potential in bumpers last season.

He made his debut at Sandown and powered eight lengths clear of Sire De Grugy, who went on to win the Dovecote Novices' Hurdle.

It takes a good horse to defy a penalty in a bumper and Knight Pass did just that when he cruised home to a four-length win at Southwell two months later.

He beat no superstars that day, but he went to Cheltenham as one of the favourites for the championship event but was never going with any enthusiasm.

That may have come too soon in his education and he remains a tremendously exciting prospect ahead of the Daily Mail British Stallion Studs EBF "National Hunt" Maiden Hurdle (1.30).

Nicky Henderson's Chablais looked very exciting when winning his only start last year but he never ran again.

He reappears in the Daily Mail Beginners' Chase (2.00) and, at this stage of the season, he could be anything. …

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