Ambivalent and Van Percy avoid name confusion

Fran Berry: First choice for Quick Jack. Picture: Getty
Fran Berry: First choice for Quick Jack. Picture: Getty
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Van Percy and Ambivalent will have slightly different names when they represent Britain in Australia this month.

The former, runner-up in the Ebor for Andrew Balding, will be known as Lord Van Percy when he has his first start in attempting to qualify for the Melbourne Cup in Saturday’s Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield. This is due to possible confusion with an Australian horse named Van Persie, while it is the same case with Roger Varian’s Group 1
-winning mare, who will be called My Ambivalent. She is due to start in the Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup under Hugh Bowman on 18 October.

Meanwhile, Tony Martin believes Betfred Cesarewitch favourite Quick Jack is as good as any of his other previous placed performers in the famous Newmarket handicap. The Irish trainer, who is always respected by the bookmakers, supplied 2007 winner Leg Spinner, and Quick Jack is at the head of the market this weekend after scoring over two miles at the Galway Festival.

The chestnut has also victories at the July course and in a hurdle at the Cheltenham Paddy Power meeting to his credit. “Leg Spinner won in 2007 then Arc Bleu was second, he was very unlucky and was very free, and Barba Papa was also third. I’d put this horse on a par with them,” Martin told RacingFM Live. “Whether he’s good enough to be first, second, third or unplaced on Saturday is another way, but he’d definitely be in the same league as those three.

“I see no reason he won’t get the two and a quarter miles at Newmarket and, hopefully, the jockey will be riding him accordingly. He’ll track them and have 
a shot from the furlong pole. Fran 
Berry has ridden him, he’d be our first choice, and Richard Hughes has ridden him to win at Newmarket. If Fran can’t ride, Hughes would be keen enough to ride him.”

Elsewhere, a trip to Cheltenham’s Open meeting in November is on the agenda for Simply Ned following his impressive return to action at Kelso last weekend.

Since falling at the first fence on his chasing debut at Carlisle last October, Simply Ned has developed into a smart performer for Nicky Richards, winning twice as a novice and signing off his season with a fine second in Grade One company at Aintree.

He gave lumps of weight and a good beating to his opponents in the Scottish Borders on Sunday and Richards is likely to learn more about his seven-year-old’s potential aspirations by running at Prestbury Park next month.

Richards said: “He couldn’t have had a much better start to the year. We were very happy with him and he should come on nicely for the run.

“All being well, he’ll go to Cheltenham next for the Shloer Chase and we’ll see how he gets on there. You’d never know where he could end up. That’s the beauty of these young, progressive horses. It will be very interesting to see how far he can go.”

It could be an exciting winter for the Greystoke handler, whose stable has lacked a genuine star since Monet’s 
Garden retired a few years ago. That could change, however, with Simply Ned spearheading a team that also 
includes Eduard and Duke Of Navan.

Eduard completed a hat-trick over fences in the Future Champion Novices’ Chase at Ayr in the spring, while Duke Of Navan is set for an imminent return after missing the latter stages of last 
season through injury.