Catching Pigeons: Shine's bright chance
So often a profitable stable for punters to follow, Lucy Wadham is once again on course for a decent season with her jumpers, without clocking up any big-time successes.
- Related Content
Her Baby Shine returned to form with a bang on her first start after a breathing operation at Sandown last time and looked in good order in Newmarket this week, breezing well alongside a smart stablemate.
Now she's back in flying form, Baby Shine can win again in the 32Red Handicap Hurdle at Kempton.
Open Hearted is the danger. This full-brother to last weekend's EBF Final winner Close Touch was going to go over fences this season, but has had a couple of niggles which have deferred that plan for 12 months. He's reckoned to be well handicapped at present.
Open Hearted's trainer Nicky Henderson must adjust to lower-key life after his Cheltenham successes, but should have a decent afternoon at the track. Malt Master has a very good chance, as does Shernando in the following contest if the forecast rain doesn't scupper his prospects.
Charlie Hills only has one jumper in his team and Crow Down runs in the closing bumper with Tony McCoy booked.
Named after the gallops he shares with Henderson on the eastern side of the Faringdon Road, he could be good enough to win this first time up, but is another who wouldn't want much rain.
Paul Webber won't want to remember this year's Festival for too long after his three runners failed to figure and Cantlow failed to even make the start in the Byrne Plate after being withdrawn by the vet at the start.
He could certainly do with a fillip and perhaps Struanmore can give him one in the opener at Uttoxeter.
He ran particularly well at Sandown two starts ago in a better event than this but flopped in bottomless ground at Leicester subsequently. This quicker surface will see him in a better light.
David Pipe was another trainer to endure a tough time at the Festival. Gevrey Chambertin was expected to make everything better in his Dad's race but failed to fire from a very early stage.
Big Occasion would probably have won if given a slightly better ride by Conor O'Farrell last time and remains in good nick at home. He's fancied to outrun his odds in the Midlands National.
Two horses take the eye in the closing bumper.
Samson's Bay was hopelessly green first time out, but better is expected now. However preference is for Deputy Dan of Oliver Sherwood's.
This good-looking sort was fancied to make up into a useful novice hurdler this season but fractured a cannon bone and the trainer has wisely decided that it's too late in the season to be usefully losing the maiden tag.
Instead it's hoped that he can win a bumper or two before being given a summer's break and the hurdling plan restarts in the autumn.
The turf Flat season gets underway at Doncaster next weekend with the Lincoln meeting and Newmarket is almost in full swing now.
All of the big names have been putting in the hours on the gallops, with Ryan Moore, William Buick, Jamie Spencer and Hayley Turner all making regular appearances, while Ian Mongan, Tom Queally and Eddie Ahern are all set to continue their relationships with the - slightly slimmed-down - Sir Henry Cecil stable.
Moore was spotted on board Stoute's Gospel Choir in midweek and this striking chestnut is confidently expected to make the grade as a Group-race performer this season.