Racing: Bazzana breeze builds Meade momentum

Trainer Alan King says he has high hopes for Chatez. Picture: Getty
Trainer Alan King says he has high hopes for Chatez. Picture: Getty
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Martyn Meade’s season is starting to gather momentum after his recent restoration of a historic stable in Newmarket – and he could yet be represented in a two-year-old race at Royal Ascot after the ridiculously easy Windsor triumph of Bazzana yesterday.

Sefton Lodge, one of the town’s oldest yards, was bought by the businessman and trainer last year and Sir Henry Cecil’s former assistant Mike Marshall has joined the operation.

Bazzana was Meade’s third winner of the campaign and by some margin his most impressive, with David Probert merely a passenger as she cantered ten lengths clear in rain-softened ground in division one of the Ladbrokes Maiden Auction Stakes. The 4-5 favourite had been third on her recent debut at Newmarket and the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting over the same six furlongs would be a viable option.

Meade’s son and pupil assistant Freddie said: “It’s hard to keep yourself grounded after a performance like that, but you always dream of buying a two-year-old that can go to Royal Ascot. After Newmarket she has been in really good form and she’s definitely improved for that.

“It’s all going well. A lot of work has been done on the stable and we’ve managed to get some support from new owners.”

Meanwhile, Alan King, who is best known for his exploits in the National Hunt sphere, says he is hoping for a “wet June” to allow Saturday’s impressive Haydock winner Chatez to line up in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Dandy Man gelding made an impressive three-year-old debut at Epsom in April, but let favourite backers down when narrowly beaten at Haydock earlier this month. However, he rewarded those who kept the faith on his return to Merseyside for last weekend’s Silver Bowl and King believes he has a realistic Ascot contender on his hands if conditions in Berkshire are in his favour.

Speaking on his website, the trainer said: “It looked like it might dry up too much for Chatez, but the rain returned in time, and by the time his race came up it was riding soft again.

“Chatez has done us proud this season and Fergus (Sweeney) blames himself for getting narrowly beaten at Haydock last time, being adamant that he got there too soon.

“However, I thought he rode a lovely race this time and, as he says, Chatez is a decent horse when he gets his ground.

“He won that off 91 and it was a career-best performance so he will go up again, but he would get in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot – though we would need it to be a wet June for that to happen.”