This time next week all eyes will be on Goodwood and Sussex Stakes and the clash of the generations between Guineas winner Churchill and the older Ribchester who has looked a champion in both the Lockinge and Queen Anne Stakes so far this term.
Ribchester (8/11) is favoured in the betting for the Group 1 contest with BetVictor over the three-year-old (7/4) for whom it is something of a retrieval mission having disappointed in the St James’s Palace Stakes last time. There are many at Ballydoyle who believe that was not the classic winners true running and it promises to be one of the races of the week on the Sussex Downs.
Nothing of the calibre of Ribchester or Churchill in action this afternoon but the most informative contest of the day could easily be Lingfield’s mile-and-a-half handicap with any number of unexposed types in opposition.
Sir Mark Prescott saddled the winner of this event back in 2010 and his Pioneertown cost 2000,000 gns as a yearling and makes his handicap debut from a very attractive looking mark having had the necessary three runs in maidens over, seemingly, inadequate trips. There is much more to come from this gelded son of High Chaparral, but the same can be said of the filly Perla Blanca (5.20) whose jockey made a bid for glory too soon at Catterick last time.
Trained by Marcus Tregoning the filly has been raised 7lbs for that effort on turf but her all-weather mark has been left unchanged, and top light-weight jockey Royston French takes over in the saddle this afternoon on a filly who has just 8st 2lbs to carry. Recent Windsor scorer Epsom Secret and David Simcock’s Oxford Don are others to consider in a race, which I am convinced, will throw up more than its fair share of winners.
We have been championing the training talents of Olly Murphy under both codes since he got his licence and Gordon Elliot’s former assistant might land the seller courtesy of Sevilla (4.20). The filly finished fourth in a Wolverhampton claimer on her first start for the yard over 12f and I hope to see jockey Kieran O’Neill make plenty of use of her from stall two. The selection had bits of form when trained in Ireland to suggest she could be up to winning in this grade and a market move would be worth noting.
There is rain forecast for Catterick on Wednesday morning and I am going to give Fillydelphia (5.30) another each way chance in the apprentice handicap which closes the card. The selection was never put into the race following a slow start over C&D last week but finished her race like a fresh horse. She needs a true test at this distance to be seen at her best and the hope is that King Of The Celts will do just that – every drop of rain is a plus for this dual C&D winner and let’s hope that jockey Paula Muir can get the mare into the race from the stalls.
William Hunter (6.45) remains 3lbs above his last winning mark for Alan King but the hope is that he has been freshened up following a ten-week break and he can go close in the competitive 12f handicap at Leicester this evening. David O’Meara’s Chancery represents a big danger and a market move for Jonjo’s French import Visandi would be significant.
Jamie Spencer rode African Blessing at Newmarket on Friday but takes the mount on last month’s Lingfield winner Warsaw Road (7.20) this evening for Luca Cumani. The selection has only had the three career starts and it should be noted that three-year-olds have won the last three renewals of tonight’s 7f handicap.
Clowance One (8.10) improved for the step up to two miles when running away with a Kempton handicap last time and can take the 5lb rise to switch to turf in his stride for Roger Charlton. The obvious danger is Tenzing Norgay who looked a non-stayer over two miles at Catterick on his reappearance and tonight’s conditions should be ideal – another cracking race in the offing.
At Bath there is a valuable fillies’ handicap and I hope to see Silver Link (3.40) go one better than when runner up on her belated seasonal reappearance at Wolverhampton at the beginning of the month. Shane Kelly takes the ride for Marcus Tregoning and I hope it is a very good day for the Derby winning trainer.
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