Anyone familiar with the Pipe team will know just how shrewd the Pond House outfit are and I can’t help but think that STARCHITECT has been laid out in regal manor for this afternoon’s Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket (4.10).
David Pipe has learnt volumes from his assiduously astute father Martin who knows exactly how to win this race having been successful in 2000 with Heros Fatal and two years later with Miss Fara and know doubt old man Pipe will have had an input into the grand plan.
Starchitect was a pretty smart performer for Donald McCain and, as well as winning twice in juvenile company, finished a close fourth to Qualando in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham in March 2015 and following a split with the owners Paul & Clare Rooney was transferred to Pipe.
The Sea The Stars gelding was kept to trips off around two miles for his early starts with his new trainer, where he performed with aplomb, but it wasn’t until stepped up to two miles and five and a half furlongs at Newton Abbot at the beginning of May that he showed that staying could be his true forte when he was in command between the final two flights and came home five lengths clear of Braavos off a mark of 143 over hurdles which has now been pushed up to 150.
That made a Flat mark of 82 look mouthwateringly attractive ov er a mile and six at Salisbury latter in May and Starchitect didn’t let the side down when asserting in the closing stages to beat Icebuster two and a quarter lengths and that form has been advertised by the runner-up and the fourth Oceane since.
There are the likes of the well handicapped St Michel and Sweet Selection to contend with but a translation of Starchitect’s jump figures suggest that he is equally, if not better handicapped, and trainers more accustomed to the jumps scene have taken seven of the last 16 runnings since Martin Pipe notched his first success.
The draw (26) could have been kinder but I expect Jamie Spencer to have manoeuvred his mount into a favourable position early on and he could well hold all the aces in the closing stages.
Let the Pipe’s be the architects for Starchitect and a 2pt investment is advised.
In the Group 3 Dubai 100 Autumn Stakes (2.55), LOCKHEED could well boost Churchill’s Dewhurst claim later in the afternoon. The William Haggas-trained colt probably didn’t run quite up to his very best when third, beaten a length, to Syphax in the Acomb Stakes at York when his stable were just coming back into purple health but performed as well as could be expected in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh in September when third, beaten four and a half lengths, to Churchill.
He was only a neck behind Mehmas who is as good a yardstick to juvenile form that there is this season and if he can run to a similar level then that should be good enough. He looks worth a 2pt investment.
MUTHMIRA is probably a little unlucky to start the afternoon with just one victory to her name but let’s hope she makes that two in the Dubai Business Internship Fillies’ Nursery (2.20).
The daughter of Arcano was strongly fancied for her debut at Chelmsford in August but lost all chance when crawling out of the stalls and, in the circumstances, did well to finish third, beaten three and three quarter lengths, to Bee Case. Next time at Ascot is was similar case of woe when she was denied a clear run and couldn’t show her best but she made now mistake on her third run over six furlongs at Yarmouth in September when making all for a length and a quarter victory from Gheedaa. She may not be badly treated off a mark of 81 and looks worth a 1pt investment.