Roger Varian nominated the City And Suburban Handicap as a possible early season target for Mountain Angel (7/2) in Ahead On The Flat and the five year old duly won the ten furlongs event at Epsom on Wednesday. The gelded son of Dark Angel won on his reappearance last year before narrowly missing out in a couple of valuable handicaps at Sandown and Newbury later in 2018. Held up in mid division by Andrea Atzeni, he was pulled out approaching the final furlong before quickening up well to win going away by a length and a half. Successful off a mark of 96, he is likely to return to the same track at the end of next month for another valuable handicap on Oaks day. His stable won the race twelve months ago with the ill-fated Ajman King.
The Aidan O'Brien trained Cape of Good Hope won the Investec Derby Trial over ten furlongs. The son of Galileo was runner-up in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes and third in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket last year and his breeding suggested he was likely to improve once stepped up in trip. Ryan Moore's mount travelled well before staying on stoutly. However, one can't help feeling the runner-up Cap Francais may well have prevailed on a more conventional track. A dual winner last term, Ed Walker's Frankel colt looked ill at ease on the contours of Epsom run finished with some purpose. Only beaten half a length, the experience won't be lost on him and he will benefit from a step up to twelve furlongs in due course. Despite the fact he isn't entered in the Derby, it wouldn't be a surprise if he was steered towards something like the Lingfield Derby Trial (11th May).
The curtain comes down on the National Hunt season in the UK on Saturday but before then the Top 40 Prospects in One Jump Ahead was amongst the winners at Taunton on Wednesday evening. The Philip Hobbs trained Umndeni has endured a largely disappointing campaign over timber, despite winning at Fontwell in late January. Beaten at 1/7 at Wincanton last time, the Balko gelding regained the winning thread with a bloodless 28 lengths win, overcoming a mistake at the last in the process.
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