ATTY COULD BE VALUE IN KEMPTON LISTED FEATURE
The son of Frankel has a point to prove after a stop-start year but has some classy credentials and looks the type who could excel on the All-Weather.
A strong traveller whose dam Dorcas Lane won on Polytrack, Atty Persse hasn’t been seen in public since dropping away tamely in a Newmarket handicap in August.
Prior to that, though, he had finished just one place behind likely Kempton rival Crowned Eagle when third - despite a troubled passage - in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock on his return from a 10-month absence.
Atty Persse had the world at his feet after winning the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot last year and the fact that his powerful connections feel he is worth persevering with suggests he can get his career back on track this winter.
Top rated Crowned Eagle, who is on the cusp of graduating into Group company on turf, looks the one to beat if he stands his ground. Marco Botti’s four-year-old has run some solid races in defeat, including in the Old Newton Cup and when getting within two lengths of Juddmonte-placed Thundering Blue in a Group 3 at Bro Park in Sweden in late September.
The former John Gosden inmate is equally proficient on the All-Weather, as he proved when winning over 1m3f at Kempton back in March.
Another interesting entry is Mark Johnston’s sand stalwart Watersmeet, who is set to return from a short break. The winner of 11 of his 23 starts in this sphere, the popular grey will surely come into his own over longer trips in due course, having made the frame in the past two runnings of the 2m Marathon Final.
SPRINTERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT AT WOLVERHAMPTON
Sprinters with the potential to make the grade in the best races this winter are poised to put their credentials on the line in the Class 3 Betway Sprint Handicap (2.15) at Wolverhampton on Tuesday.
Among a strong entry is Michael Wigham’s hat-trick seeking VERNE CASTLE, who lowered the colours of last season’s three-year-old champion Corinthia Knight at Chelmsford in August and has won seven of his 20 starts on sand.
A good draw will be critical in this 5f handicap which has also attracted an entry for Alsvinder - a smart winner at Kempton for David O’Meara who stays in the yard despite being sold at the sales this week - and Mick Appleby’s Norwegian Group 3 winner Hakam.
Paul Cole’s Oasis Dream filly was an unlucky loser in a 1m2f handicap at Lingfield Park on Thursday 1st November. Dropped in from a wide draw, she was caught short of room when beginning her challenge but still finished with a rattle to be fourth. A stronger pace would have suited the three-year-old, who had previously won over the same trip at Chelmsford City. She also lost a shoe in the scrimmage at Lingfield but can gain compensation.
This gelding’s return from a lengthy break at Chelmsford City last week was most encouraging. He was pushed four wide off the home turn but plugged on well to be fifth of 11 in a competitive 7f handicap. Dean Ivory’s five-year-old is entitled to sharpen up for his first outing since February and goes into the new season a fresh horse. What’s more, he has dropped a whopping 25lb since the start of last year and can capitalise soon.
David Simcock would have been delighted with this colt’s debut run at Chelmsford City. Dropped out by Jamie Spencer, he challenged out wide up the home straight but finished well under a sympathetic ride to be third behind two potential smart rivals in a 1m novice stakes. A similar race should be a formality for this $125,000 yearling, who is a son of Frankel’s brother Noble Mission.
This daughter of top sand sire Kodiac was too green to make an impact for much of her debut over the straight 7f at Newcastle but when she met the rising ground just over a furlong out she finished with a real flourish. In fact, Charles Hills’s newcomer would have beaten the odds-on favourite in another stride and is bred to appreciate a longer trip.
This ex-Aidan O’Brien gelding was making definite headway against the rail until being squeezed out in a 7f handicap at Chelmsford City last week. It could be argued that he gave away his ground a little too willingly, but I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. A winner of a novice stakes off a mark of 85 four Henry Spiller last December, he went on to post two solid placed efforts at Newmarket in the summer off a higher mark. This son of top sand sire Invincible Spirit is well enough handicapped to pick up a race in the coming weeks.