Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Bow-Ring of Confidence; Sofias Is the No 1 Choice Racing Preview

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Bow-Ring of Confidence; Sofias Is the No 1 Choice Racing Preview

Article excerpt

Byline: NAOMI MATTHEW

SOFIAS NUMBER ONE can put to good use his fondness for an artificial surface with victory at Wolverhampton.

The Roy Bowring-trained threeyear-old is clearly unimpressive on the turf, as demonstrated earlier this year with three pretty ordinary efforts, but usually does connections proud on the Polytrack and on the Fibresand.

No better was that demonstrated than at Southwell last Tuesday when he arrived from another county to take second spot in a reasonable handicap over this trip.

That effort not only confirmed his vitality, but indicated he is well worth a look off the same mark of 63, which is due to go up 1lb once he is reassessed.

Twice a winner at Southwell in the summer, placed efforts at Lingfield and Kempton earlier this year suggest he is also no slouch on the Polytrack, either.

Given his trainer's relatively humble origins, Sofias Number One should be available at a decent price in division one of the pounds 32 Free At 32Red.com Handicap (5.05), in which he is probably still a little less exposed than some.

Cue Card, meanwhile, can serve up a pre-Hennessy treat in the Fuller's London Pride Novices' Chase (1.35) at Newbury.

This decorated Grade Two affair has, in recent years, been won by the likes of Denman and Jair Du Cochet.

Cue Card has a long way to go, of course, before he can be mentioned in the same breath as those esteemed chasers, but it would be folly to dismiss his worth at this early stage of his career.

That said, there will be plenty of punters in Berkshire prepared to take him on after he got rid of Joe Tizzard in a white-hot novice chase, won by Grands Crus, at Cheltenham this month.

He must also give away weight to all of his rivals here, which is another slightly troubling issue.

Yet despite his heroics over hurdles and in the 2009 Champion Bumper at the Festival, the Colin Tizzard-trained five-year-old was always likely to be a natural to chasing. …

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