JASON HART, one of many riding talents to emerge from Hawick, is hoping for a slice of some of the prize-money on offer in the feature races at Hamilton’s Saints And Sinners meeting.
The 5lb claimer’s first ride is on course and distance winner Spavento, trained by his Preston employer Eric Alston and one of six runners in the £10,000 EBF Captain J C Stewart Fillies Handicap. He said: “I won on her over 9f at Ayr earlier this month but she’s also won over this trip at Hamilton this season for David Allan. She should run another good race as she acts on the track. She’s gone up a fair bit for Ayr so hopefully that’s won’t stop her going close again.”
In the other main race, the Patersons Of Greenoakhill Handicap, Hart partners Barkston Ash, who faces 11 rivals. Hart added: “I won on him over course and distance, and at Ayr last year and I’d say he has a brilliant race. He’ll love the going and the track is fine.”
Hart’s other ride is David Nicholls-trained Hamoody in the wholesaledomestic.com selling stakes. He said: “I’ve never ridden him before but I see he’s got plenty of winning form on the all-weather.”
Dawn Approach has been given the option of stepping back up in trip for the Juddmonte International at York on 21 August. Jim Bolger’s brilliant miler added last week’s St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot to his Qipco 2000 Guineas triumph at Newmarket as he bounced back from an unbelievably poor run in the Investec Derby. The colt, who wears the Godolphin blue, is among 35 entries for the Group One over an extended mile and a quarter won last year by Frankel.
A high-quality entry includes Toronado, who was just touched off by Dawn Approach at Ascot, Derby hero Ruler Of The World, Al Kazeem, St Nicholas Abbey and Snow Fairy. As well as Ruler Of The World and St Nicholas Abbey, Aidan O’Brien has entered one-time Derby favourite Kingsbarns, who has not run since last season’s Racing Post Trophy, and Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Magician and Queen Anne victor Declaration Of War. Telescope, another leading Derby contender not to have run so far this year, is a possible for Sir Michael Stoute, while John Gosden’s progressive Ascot winner Remote could represent the Frankel colours of sponsor Khalid Abdullah. Just The Judge, winner of the Irish 1,000 Guineas and due to step up in trip in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, also holds the engagement.
A trip to York for the Betfred Ebor is also a possibility for Royal Ascot winner Opinion. The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt stayed on well to claim the 12-furlong Duke of Edinburgh Handicap in Berkshire last week on his tenth career start. Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, immediately pointed to the York heat on 24 August and that could be the target.
“We have no definite plans yet but a race like the Ebor could be the longer-term plan, although I suspect Sir Michael might want to run him again before then,” he said. “He’s an improving horse and I think he will improve again for a step up in trip. He has enough speed to win the good mile-and-a-half events, as you saw last week, but he was staying on well at the end and going away so a step up to a mile and a six should suit.”
Following Ascot, Herbert indicated the Melbourne Cup could be in the equation, though Opinion will have to make great strides to book his ticket. “He wouldn’t get in off his current rating so he would have to move up the ranks – it’s not out of the question,” said Herbert.