Horses To Follow » Hamza


Mentioned here after his seasonal reappearance at Doncaster, Hamza is worth noting again after winning the Class 2 six-furlong handicap at Newmaket on 1000 Guineas day in a good time.

Neil Callan was clever in bouncing the son of Amadeus Wolf out and getting him onto what was probably the best of the ground, but there was still no denying his superiority. He travelled sweetly in front, he had all his rivals in trouble two furlongs out, and he picked up again from there and was never in any real danger. In fact, he was drawing away again at the line and won with some authority by nearly three lengths in the quickest comparative time of the day by some way.

Kevin Ryan’s horses have been a little behind through the early throes of the season, and Hamza came on for his Doncaster run. But there could be a fair bit more to come from him on this evidence.

He bounces off fast ground and he is uncomplicated, he races from the front. When he is on song he is difficult to peg back. To win a race as competitive as this off a mark of 101 marks him down as a high-class sprinter and means he is worth a shot at Group races now. He is so progressive, and clearly in such good form, that he will be interesting when he does take his chance in the higher grade.

This is invariably a strong sprint handicap that, because it comes so early in the season, often features horses with aspirations to better things – Maarek won the race last year off a mark of 102, and he went on to win two Group 3s and a Group 2 race last year, while Pastoral Player won it off a mark of 96 the previous year, and he went onto win a Group 3 race. Hamza was chased home by the other, progressive horses at the top of the market, the form looks solid and he has a nice progressive profile now as a four-year-old sprinter. He probably does need good or fast ground to be at his best, but when he gets it, he could be a Group class sprinter. He does hold a July Cup entry, and that may not be the most ridiculous entry ever made.

5th May 2013