Past Winners » Hamza


Hamza is a little shorter than I hoped he would be for this, but he is still worth backing at 6/1 or 13/2.

Kevin Ryan’s horse ran a cracker on his debut this season at Doncaster in Move In Time’s race, showing a lot of pace early and keeping on well to finish fourth. That was a race in which it paid to be held up because of the fast pace that Hamza and his fellow front-runners set. The three horses who finished in front of Hamza were held up, the second and third held up well back, while the other five horses who raced on the pace with Hamza early on all faded to finish eighth, 13th, 14th, 17th and 18th of the 20 runners.

Shropshire and Hitchens were the other two horses who finished in front of Hamza that day, and both of them re-oppose today, but both had had a run before Doncaster, both enjoyed the run of the race, being held up behind a fast pace, and Hamza meets them on 3lb and 1lb more advantageous terms today (respectively). He has a big chance of reversing placings.

Hamza was a nicely progressive sprinter last season as a three-year-old, he won a good six-furlong handicap on Newmarket’s July course in August, when he had three of today’s rivals behind him in second, third and fourth, and he ran the potentially Group-class Heeraat to a neck at York in September, when he again had the Newmarket runner-up, Gabriel’s Lad, behind him in third.

He should progress from his seasonal debut. Kevin Ryan’s horses were reportedly held up a little in the spring, so Hamza could be a fair bit sharper for that run. The handicapper has left him on his mark of 101, which is fair, and he still has the potential to be a fair bit better than that now as an older sprinter. He races handily, and that was an advantage yesterday, as it often is on fast ground on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile. He rattles off fast ground, and he has a big chance.

HAMZA WON (ADV 13/2, SP 5/1)