Hugo Palmer is looking forward to a return to action at last for To Be Wild in the Marathonbet November Handicap at Doncaster.
The lightly-raced five-year-old has been sidelined for 18 months, but Palmer rates the Big Bad Bob gelding highly and cannot wait to get him started – albeit on the final day of the Flat turf season.
“It’s fantastic he’s coming back on the track, and I’ve been very happy how he’s been training at home,” said the Newmarket trainer.
“He’s been back cantering since June. We know he’s a soft-ground horse, so it’s not like we’ve been missing opportunities all summer this year, and the owners have been incredibly patient.
“It’s his first run since he’s been gelded, and for a very long time. I’ve always thought he was an exciting horse, and his work this autumn has done nothing to change my mind on that.
“I think he’s fit enough to do himself justice – but whatever he achieves, I think he will achieve more afterwards.
“He strained a tendon last June. It was only minor, but it was there. He’s in great shape at the moment – and long may that be the case.”
Now Children heads to Town Moor on Saturday on the back of a convincing victory at Goodwood four weeks ago on soft ground, which gives trainer Clive Cox good reason to be optimistic.
“He won really well at Goodwood last time,” said Cox.
“I’m really pleased with him, and he’ll appreciate any rain that’s forecast.
“It’s a nice draw (seven). It’s a mile and a half, so there’s plenty of time.
“He coped with some very soft ground at Goodwood, and I was pleased with that success. He comes here on an upward curve with his form and his profile.”
Lorelina’s winning run came to an abrupt end at Goodwood in September, but trainer Andrew Balding put that down to her tackling a distance that exposed her stamina limitations.
“She’s been pretty consistent all year, bar her last run at Goodwood, where we felt she didn’t quite get home of the mile and three-quarters,” said the Kingsclere handler.
“Coming back to a mile and a half will be more her territory.
“I think any rain that falls will help her chance.”
William Haggas is hoping for a decent effort from My Lord And Master, who stayed on strongly for second place behind Aquarium over 10 and a half furlongs at York.
“He ran very well at York. I was very pleased with him,” said the Newmarket trainer.
“This was the obvious race for him if he was going to have another run, and he seems in good form.
“Any cut in the ground will definitely suit him.”
John Ryan expects Grey Britain to be cherry ripe after an encouraging display at Ascot five weeks ago in his first race for five months.
“I think he’s in good order after a nice run at Ascot in between, and this has been the plan for a while – so I hope he’s fit and well to take his chance,” said the Newmarket trainer.
“The ground will be similar to when he won at Newmarket, so I don’t think that will be a problem. He’s got a decent draw (one) – we’re hopeful.
“The November Handicap is like the Lincoln, which he ran in there in the spring. They are nearly Group races now, but we’re going to give it a go.”
Eve Johnson Houghton has put a line through What About Carlo’s last run, and is more concerned about the seven-year-old having to carry top weight.
“The handicapper’s not very kind to him, but we’ve put Georgia (Dobie) on – who’s our young apprentice,” she said.
“She’s ridden him at home and knows him well, so we’re taking a bit of weight off.
“He needs a lot of rain. I hope there will be plenty.”