ANOTHER successful week, with two selections from four in our midweek, all weather edition, and then Raya Star landing the money in the big race of the weekend, the Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle.
Connections to follow over the winter are trainer Ian Williams and jockey William Carson. Both have had tremendous years, increasing their profile significantly. They team up on Tuesday with CINCINNATI KID, who runs for the first time in handicap grade at Kempton in a five furlong sprint contest. A well bred filly by Cape Cross, she has been running over extended trips, and has been well held on all starts. The stable is synonymous with getting horses ready for a handicap, and given their recent success, the filly should be well supported and should go close.
The golden girl of racing returns to action on Tuesday and the ‘Head Turner’ looks to have a decent set of rides, the most attractive being OPUS MAXIMUS, who has been a model of consistency in recent weeks. Running over 9 and 10 furlongs, the Connor Dore gelding has ran behind horses such as Greyfriarschorista, Archie Rice and Emerald Wilderness, as well as winning a Wolverhampton claimer. He should be taken advantage of whilst in form, and can hopefully give Hayley Turner the perfect welcome back present.
Trainer Nick Williams has a new stable jockey in the promising James Reveley and, after a luke warm start, things seem to be picking up. They have a promising novice hurdler in SWINCOMBE FLAME. A well supported 2/5 favourite last time out, she duly obliged, winning by an impressive 13 lengths. The mare’s form is working out well, especially her second last run where she finished second behind a decent Phillip Hobbs’ trained horse. The third and fourth have both won as well and the stable look to have another smart novice on their hands.
JP Ferguson, bloodstock agent to Sheikh Mohammed, has taken to training like a duck to water and is making a real name for himself. He has a strike rate of 36% and has struck up a good relationship with useful claimer Jack Quinlan. They team up with MONARCHS WAY in a handicap hurdle at Taunton. Bought after winning a maiden on the flat at Chantilly, the gelded son of King’s Best has shown glimpses of promise in maiden hurdles and looks very much like a work in progress. The stable clearly know how to get a horse ready for a handicap and he should build on his previous form.
The last selection is the relatively unexposed VOSGES who runs in a beginners chase at Musselburgh for trainer James Ewart, after having previously very good form over hurdles. He has fantastic course form, with two wins and a second from three runs, and his first run of the season should have him spot on for Tuesday.
12.30 (Taunton) Swincombe Flame (Nap)
13.00 (Taunton) Monarch’s Way
13.20 (Musselburgh) Vosges
14.10 (Kempton) Cincinnati Kid
14.45 (Kempton) Opus Maximus