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Hardened campaigner Mak bids to bounce back EBF Stallions Condition Stakes | 6f5y, 3yo+ | RUK

EXPERIENCED sprinter Colonel Mak bids to put an underwhelming 25th-placed finish in the Ayr Silver Cup on Saturday behind him in this valuable conditions contest.

The main threat seems likely to be Kevin Ryan's Hopes N Dreams, a course specialist who has won four of her last seven races. Officially rated equal to Colonel Mak, she has 5lb on him at the weights.

Baileys Jubilee for Mark Johnston is even more favourably treated but has been out of sorts all season, while James Tate's El Manati is seeking to recapture juvenile form that saw her placed in an Ascot Group 3.

Two impressive course specialists
Colonel Mak is three from five at Hamilton, but even that impressive record is put into perspective by Hopes N Dreams, who has won on five of six outings at the track.

Fahey, Ryan, Johnston call the tune
The race pitches three heavy-hitting course trainers against each other. Richard Fahey has had 41 winners with a 19 per cent strike-rate over the last five seasons and Kevin Ryan has had 36 successes for a 24 per cent strike-rate, while Mark Johnston boasts 57 winners and a 24 per cent strike-rate.

Favourites fancied
The longest-priced winner of this race in the last eight runnings was 9-2 Opera Cape in 2007.

What they say
Laurence O'Kane, co-owner of Colonel Mak
"He's had a run at Ayr and a tough race, so it depends how much that has taken out of him, otherwise he's got his chance. He seemed okay after Ayr and has eaten up."

Kevin Ryan, trainer of Hopes N Dreams
"She loves the track, is in great form and has a lovely weight, so we're very hopeful of a big run."

James Tate, trainer of El Manati
"She was Group 3-placed as a two-year-old and we thought we had her in good nick at the beginning of the year, when we sent her to Leicester and she injured herself coming out the stalls. We brought her back in the middle of the summer at Ayr, where she missed the break and wasn't quite in top form. She definitely seems in the best form we've had her all season, but obviously there's a doubt about her because it's a long time since she was third in that Group 3 last October. We're looking to see her old sparkle back, and if we don't see it she'll probably be retired to stud. She does appear to be in much better form, so we're hopeful of a good run."

good to soft, good in places
Kempton standard
Leicester good
Tipperary good

Today's key pointer
Joe Fanning is 8-16 on Mark Johnston-trained three-year-olds at Hamilton over 1m-plus this season. They team up with Bound Copy (3.40).

Pointer courtesy of Raceform Interactive

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