James Tate reports Invincible Army to be back in top form as the sprinter bids to kickstart the turf campaign with victory in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster.
The son of Invincible Spirit looked a class act in the first part of last term, landing the Group Three Pavilion Stakes at Ascot and going down by only a nose to Sands Of Mali in the Group Two Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock.
However, Invincible Army struggled to handle quick conditions in the summer and was well beaten in two starts before injury cut short his season.
Tate said: “He’s in very good form.
“Obviously, he had a couple of poor runs in the middle of the summer on fast ground when he lost his way a bit, but he certainly looks like he’s on top form at home, so we’re hopeful of a big run on Saturday.
“He’s been back in work ages. This has been the plan for a long time, so we’re very hopeful.”
Hugo Palmer has no qualms about dropping Arbalet down in distance after running between seven and nine furlongs for the last season and a half.
“He’s had a really good winter. He looks tremendous, really grown and filled out,” said Palmer.
“He seems to have got quicker – which is why we’re starting back over six.
“Obviously it’s his first run of the year, and he will come on for it, but he’s ready to make a start. He’s versatile ground-wise and I’m looking forward to running him again.
“His third behind Expert Eye (at York) was very good form – then he cut his leg after that and didn’t run again, which was very frustrating.
“He’s good and ready to start, and we’re looking forward to getting him going.”
Dean Ivory would like to see rain to boost the chances of Eirene, who has good course form.
“She’s been off for a while. It’s her first race back and I’d like the race to be over a little bit further,” he said.
“She’s a filly that likes cut in the ground. I hope we’ll get a bit of rain, because the ground just might be a little too firm.
“It’s just the ground. She always runs good races at Doncaster. If it was soft or good to soft ground, I’d be happy. But it might go against her. We’ll see.”
Charlie Hills is convinced the best has still to come from Equilateral – who despite his tall reputation, has not quite delivered on the track.
“He had a thorough MOT at the end of last season and had a break at Juddmonte,” the Lambourn trainer told www.charleshills.com.
“He’s come back in looking great and is working as well as ever.
“He was a bit of a talking horse last year, and we only glimpsed on the racecourse what we see at home. I hope he’ll transfer what he does on the gallops to the racecourse this year.”
Archie Watson is hoping Gorgeous Noora can boost her value further with another good run, after winning the Listed Hever Stakes at Lingfield.
“I also felt she’d be a better filly on turf,” Watson told Sky Sports Racing.
“I think she’s improving, probably progressing with age rather than improving from being with us.
“It’s probably a tough Cammidge, with horses like Invincible Army in there. But she’s now won her Listed race, and I’m hoping we can get her some more black type.”