Wednesday Selections: 28th December 2022

4.55 Newcastle: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Bin Hayyan was a massive eye-catcher when last seen back in November, one few may have missed. It’s a question whether you have the trust that today is the day connections are serious about winning or not.

The early prices are probably more driven by this recent impressive run than anything else. Market moves during the day will tell us what to expect in this rather open and intriguing contest, in any case.

As for Bin Hayyan, he probably showed more to the handicapper than perhaps he should have, in an ideal world, when finishing incredibly strongly last time out. But it’s the reason I am clearly prepared to back at the prices on offer, in the hope he will run on merit.

Back then over the same course and distance he was restrained in rear, which was a disadvantage as the field crawled for the first half of the race. He made eye-catching progress from three furlongs out, travelled seriously strongly, but couldn’t get a clear run until approaching the final furlong. As he found daylight he finished by far the strongest.

He was a big price on the day (SP 25/1), and unusual race tactics were deployed. He was seen to best effect when more prominently ridden in the past.

He is almost certainly better than his current Official Rating of 69. He ran to a 71 speed rating on turf this summer, and has clearly proven his suitability to an All-Weather surface when last seen.

I also would argue his comeback run prior, off a small break, at Kempton, over a mile on his first attempt racing on sand, can be upgraded given the way he was ridden that day, over a trip possibly that stretches his stamina.

This smaller field of eight horses, with a modest pace expected, could suit Bin Hayyan really well, if he can settle closer to the pace. He is drawn close to the most likely pace setter, so should get a lead into the finish, And he has shown to be able to quicken nicely.

10pts win – Bin Hayyan @ 7/2

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