Past Winners » Oxted


I want to take on Brando here.  He is the form horse, he is 7lb and more superior to his rivals on official ratings, and this is his race and this is his meeting.   He has won the Abernant Stakes twice in the last three years, and he was only beaten a half a length in the race last year.  Also, he won the handicap at this meeting four years ago.

However, there are a couple of things against him today.  He is eight years old for starters, he is not improving, whereas some of his rivals probably are.  Also, the ground was very fast at Newmarket yesterday, and very fast ground would not be ideal for Brando.  And he is a hold-up horse, and the pace was holding up very well at Newmarket yesterday.  The stalls will be over on the far side today – they were on the near side yesterday – so Brando’s low draw will not be the disadvantage that it might have been yesterday, when you didn’t want to be too far away from the stands rail, but there is every reason to believe that, like yesterday, you won’t want to be too far off the pace today.

I am taking Brando on with Oxted.  He is not a massive price, but I think that he should be favourite in front of Kevin Ryan’s horse.

Oxted was a seriously progressive sprinter last season.  On his penultimate run, he did well to get to within a half a length of Dazzling Dan in a good handicap on Newmarket’s July Course, given that he raced freely early on behind a moderate pace.  Then next time, he ran out an impressive winner of the Portland Handicap at Doncaster.

The handicapper raised him by just 4lb for that win, which still leaves him with 7lb to find with Brando, but he could have raised him by more.  As well as that, he was only three last year, he was the first three-year-old winner of the Portland in years, and he has lots of scope for progression now as a sprinter.

Roger Teal’s horse goes well on fast ground, he usually races just behind the pace, and the fact that he ran so well on his only run at Newmarket – albeit on the other track – is a positive.  And Cieren Fallon is a good rider who gets on well with him.  His record on him reads 21.  There are lots of positives.

OXTED WON (ADV 5/2, SP 7/2)