Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 08:24 15/05/2014
Trainer Alan Jarvis has been in the racing news for the wrong reasons this week but the stable's Navajo Chief should take some beating on the Knavesmire today in the Betfred Hambledon Stakes at 3.15 racing off his lowest mark ( 97 ) since May 2010. The King's Best 7-year-old retains his best form for the Yorkshire venue, recording three victories together with a number of creditable efforts since his first success on the course in August 2011.
A couple of below-par runs towards the back end of last season means that the mount of Kieren Fallon has been dropped 3lb by the handicapper since recording a length and a half victory over Prince Of Johanne in this race 12 months ago and a reproduction of that game effort should make the horse hard to beat in what looks a less competitive renewal. Despite his form tailing off towards the end of last season Navajo Chief can run well fresh and should appreciate the eight month gap since his last run and can go close at the 6-1 available with 888Sport.
The William Haggas-trained Queensberry Rules could turn out to be Navajo Chief's most dangerous rival as the mount of Jamie Spencer is open to plenty more improvement with just the seven runs to his name and the Teofilo gelding was strongly fancied to win a couple of big handicaps last summer without playing a part in the finish and although only 20th ran well for a long way in last year's Cambridgeshire. The 4-year-old looks sure to win a decent handicap before long but may find our selection a better treated rival on this occasion.