The feature race for this Saturday’s 20th meeting is the Group 3 Hinterland Cup, the third and penultimate leg of the Sprinters’ Championship. Ten horses have been entered in this 1400-metre contest, which honours Hinterland, one of the finest racehorses to have graced Mauritian turf.
Set off as an outsider in last year’s race, Beat The Retreat produced a cracker of a performance with Imran Chisty on board. He produced a devastating finish to nab Victory Team before the winning post, while Tandragee and Charles Lytton were 3rd and 4th respectively.
In terms of features races in 2018, it is Rameshwar Gujadhur’s yard that comes up trumps, having won 6 in total. Half has come with NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, who is unbeaten this season and victory on Saturday will see him become champion sprinter.
This son of Silvano has been a major revelation here, especially this current campaign. His connections are very fond of him and based on what he has showed, it is very easy to see why.
Such is his current form, he is rated as the horse to beat and can earn both yard and Juan Paul van derMerwe yet another Group race.
YANKEE CAPTAIN (Robbie Fradd) has done everything spot on in his debut season, striking three times and finishing in the money on two occasions. His win in his latest was mightily impressive, as he got it right at the death, despite being held up for a run round the final bend.
This Gilbert Rousset-trained gelding remains in excellent shape and he has a very good chance of doubling the score in this.
BUDAPEST’S last run must be ignored, as it was too bad to be true. Before that, he had raced well in both the 8th and 12th meetings; finishing 4th on both occasions and it is worth noting that the winners in those respective races have won again since.
He has benefited from a spell at Floreal and he looks to be in good nick. He comes from a yard that has been winning races on a regular basis in recent weeks, following a very tough start to the season. The in-form Jameer Allyhosain is on board and he is rated as a genuine chance here.
VICTORY TEAM made his return to competition in the Lightning Cup after a health-enforced absence. He did not disgrace himself, finishing 5th, 3 lengths behind Nottinghamshire.
He has come out very well from that run and as he is in vastly improved condition, he is entitled to go very far, particularly with Swapneel Rama knowing him very well.
PRINCE OF THIEVES (Nishal Teeha) has done what he could during his Mauritian career. On Saturday, he makes his fourth start of the season. After failing to turn up in his seasonal debut, he has finished 3rd in his last two attempts. He is close to his optimal form and is not prevented from being in the shake up.
ERNIE (Cedric Segeon) did what he could in the Lightning Cup. He has performed honestly so far this season, although he has not done enough to threaten for victory. He has looked well in his recent gallops and with a strong pace expected, he will be a danger in the closing stages.
SPEED LIMIT (Richard Oliver) showed bags of improvement just two meetings ago. He finished 4th, just 1.5 lengths behind the irresistible Karraar. Don’t rule him out from making his presence felt in this.
Representing Hinterland’s yard in this contest is THE THINKER (Daniel Stackhouse). He did well on his debut in the Derby Trial, finishing the best of the rest. Back after a long spell, he has steadily progressed and looks to be in good condition. He is capable of being in the quartet here.
ELUSIVE PATH (Akshay Balloo) and NORDIC WARRIOR (Sunil Bussunt) complete the line-up. Whilst the former was not disgraced in his latest, the latter has not performed since striking in the 5th meeting. Both are rated as interesting outsiders in this contest.
EASY LOVER is the Emergency Acceptor. He had made a solid start to 2018, finishing 4th in his seasonal debut, before being on the wrong side of a photo-finish involving himself and Dawn Raid in the 5th meeting. However, he was a big disappointment in his last two races, unable to contest the finish.
He has come out well from a long break and showed no problems at track work. Even so, he will have to rediscover his best form to stand a chance in this.