Catching Pigeons: Take Credit
Our Catching Pigeons column brings the latest whispers from the training centres and the hottest tips for Saturday's action.
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So it's farewell to Tom Queally from Warren Place, but the jockey's time at the stable was always looking borrowed once Khalid Abdullah had signed up James Doyle on a retainer.
Did he ultimately jump or was he pushed? Well, probably a bit of both, but it was eyecatching that having ridden for Lady Cecil at Wolverhampton last Saturday, Queally didn't even figure among the work-riders this week.
Instead it was that man Doyle who took the eye partnering unraced two-year-old Lake Alfred for the yard. He's a colt to keep in mind for a maiden, perhaps on the Polytrack at Kempton or Lingfield, in the next week or three. Fair Share, who also took part in the workout, is another for the notebook.
Queally, meanwhile, is now riding out for, among others, Michael Bell who spectacularly stopped traffic in the town when walking his entire first lot down the High Street earlier in the week.
The jockey ended a losing streak aboard the Bell-trained Creme Anglaise on Friday and might find the winner's enclosure again when he partners the Michael Wigham-trained Credit Swap in the Finjaan standing at Gazeley Stud Handicap at Newmarket on Saturday.
The soft ground will be right up his street and although Wigham has had to be very patient with this horse, who has ongoing leg problems, he looks to have come right now.
Back to James Doyle and he gets the leg-up on Prince Khalid's Surcingle in the Montrose Stakes.
Mentioned on this page seven days ago, Surcingle has again worked well since and despite her official rating highlighting the fact that she faces a much stiffer task than the one encountered when winning her maiden, this athletic Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly is fancied to prove up to the task.
The other strong fancy on the HQ card is Nabucco, another for whom the testing conditions will prove no problem at all. At anything odds-against, he's a good bet to win the wordily-named Fasttracktosucess Finjaan James Seymour Stakes.
Those among the Gosden team who like a weekend wager will be backing him in a double with stablemate The Fugue, who they also can't see being beaten in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
Andrew Balding is finishing the season well and Tullius is the subject of a good word to make up for lost time in the Listed Ben Marshall Stakes.
He proved a real money spinner for the Kingsclere team last season, but has seen action only once this term. That came three weeks ago on this course and connections had to be pleased with his effort after such a long lay-off. He only weakened in the closing stages of the nine furlongs and hopes are high he can step up on his favoured easy ground and what looks his best trip.
That said, Daddy Long Legs was spotted in a Mike de Kock trio of workers this week and he looked particularly sharp and ready ahead of his first start for eight months, so with the pair tough to split on their best form, stakes may be best kept to a minimum.
Long Run bids to make a winning return to action in the day's feature jumps contest, the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, and connections will be hoping he does not become a beaten favourite on his comeback for the third year in a row.
This looks his easiest task so far given both those defeats came in the Betfair Chase, but he will have to be on his mettle to see off Benefficient, Harry Topper and Unioniste.
Long Run does seem in very good form at home however, and this course will suit him better than those tight turns of the chase track at Haydock. Altogether, maybe it's a race just to enjoy.
The OLBG.com Mares Hurdle looks a cracking contest given the unexceptional prize money on offer and a chance is taken that Mischievous Milly can begin her second season the way she finished her last.
She has always been very highly rated by Oliver Sherwood and proved him right last term with two wins at Fakenham and Taunton.The latter event was at this level and the manner of her success suggests she has a touch of class.
This is a very tough first exam after ten months off, but she is in very good form and her turn of foot, coupled with her ability to handle easy ground will stand her in good stead.
Stabemate Lemony Bay was impressive when landing his two bumpers last season and he could prove the value bet to beat Alan King's highly regarded Gone Too Far in the bet365 Novices Hurdle. Both horses looks youngsters to follow in similar events this season.
King is also hoping for a big run from Free Trade in the bet365 Novices' Limited Handicap Chase. A usfeul performer on the Flat and over timber, he has jumped particularly well over the Barbury Castle schooling fences.
Jeremy Scott's Notarfbad could not have been much more impressive when landing a novices handicap chase at Newton Abbot last time and he should go well at a price in the Byrne Group Handicap Chase at Ascot.
He jumped like a old hand at the Devon course and the likely good pace here should be a big help to him because he can be a bit headstrong sometimes.
Nicky Henderson is well represented in both the other big handicaps and hopes are high Makari can land a quick hat-trick in the William Hill Handicap Hurdle.
The Seven Barrows trainer is not normally one to run horses twice in three weeks normally let alone three times, but Makari has hacked up on both his previous starts and Henderson can't resist the temptation.
Stablemate Triolo D'Alene could also handle the surface better than last year's winner Roberto Goldback in the United House Gold Cup Handicap Chase.
He will be unashamedly campaigned towards the Grand National this season after his success in the Topham Trophy back in April, but a big run is anticipated here.
It's a big weekend for Oliver Sherwood, who sends some more of his biggest hopes for the season to Carlisle on Sunday.
Many Clouds has schooled very well and looks his best chance in the beginners' chase, but Deputy Dan will go well in the two and a half mile novice hurdle and Global Power, who runs well fresh, is in with a shout in the Cumberland Handicap Chase.