A superstar's sister and teenage dreams: the best of the action on Tuesday
Shades of Simonsig
When speaking to Nicky Henderson about a well-fancied horse of his running in an all-weather mares' bumper at Lingfield (1.30), you would not expect him to spend as much time talking about a horse not in his care, especially when his runner is a half-sister to superstar Simonsig.
So perhaps it is safe to assume Mick Channon's Buildmeupbuttercup has him worried.
Racing Post Ratings suggest he should not be. Simonia ran to a rating of 109 in defeat at Ludlow, besting the 91 given to Channon's year-younger runner for her length-and-a-quarter win at Warwick.
Stable jockey Nico de Boinville, who partnered Simonia on debut, is at the meeting but Henderson is worried enough about his mare having to give 4lb that he has opted to utilise the 5lb claim of his conditional Ned Curtis, who lost his father – former trainer Roger Curtis – earlier this month.
"She ran a nice race the first time in some pretty mucky ground at Ludlow," said Henderson. "The trouble is it's so wet everywhere there's quite a lot of fillies wanting to run on the all-weather.
"Before the race split the best two in there looked to be Mick Channon's and ours and we've ended up in the same division, along with a whole lot of others. She's a very nice filly, she ran well the first time but Mick's horse won well at Warwick and might take a lot of beating."
Teenage kicks for Cromwell
Gavin Cromwell knows a thing or two about keeping his horses happy and healthy well into the twilight stages of their careers.
Fresh from winning the Welsh Grand National with teenager Raz De Maree, the Navan-based handler will be hoping fellow 13-year-old As De Pique can return to the winner’s enclosure in the opening 2m7½f handicap chase (1.15) at Punchestown – or at least put in a clear round.
As De Pique hasn't completed on his last four starts – he has fallen twice, been pulled up and unseated rider – and is without a win since October 2016 when, coincidentally, he beat Raz De Maree in a staying handicap chase at Gowran Park.
Cromwell said: “After the last few runs I’m just hoping that he can get around. He seems very well.”
As De Pique faces stiffest opposition from Gordon Elliott’s Swingbridge and the Philip Dempsey-trained Routes Choice.
Dempsey, successful at Fairyhouse on Saturday when Dinnie's Vinnie took advantage of a rival's final-fence fall, is enjoying his best ever season in terms of winners and has already trained 12, which is three more than his previous best.
He said: “She’ll like the ground and the trip and we’re hoping for a good run from her. It’s been a great season so far.”
Wings Like Arion in flying form
The Jessica Harrington-trained Wings Like Arion (2.55) won well over two miles on heavy ground on her handicap debut at Gowran Park on Thursday and reappears quickly under a 6lb penalty.
Meanwhile, Poormans Hill (4.30), who notched his fifth win since joining Gordon Elliott when scoring at Fairyhouse on Saturday, bids to defy a 4lb penalty in the concluding 2m6f handicap hurdle. Jack Kennedy, who was aboard for the first four of those wins, takes the ride.
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