As the Derby king is crowned, Hexham hosts first three-year-old hurdle
Their pedigrees all promised glory on the Flat but, alas, not every three-year-old can be a Derby or Royal Ascot hopeful.
On the day Epsom hails the leader of a generation, Hexham stages the opening juvenile hurdle of the jumps season, featuring sons of Racing Post Trophy winner Casamento and French Derby hero Lawman, as well as the produce of Prix Jean Prat victor Lord Shanakill and Group 1 winner Medicean.
Six will go to post for the Film Nova Juvenile Hurdle (2.40 ATR).
Assessing their relative merits on the Flat, Ben Haslam said of his dual Newcastle winner Lord Caprio: "If you took the hurdles out of the way I expect he'd be odds-on. He saw out both his wins over a mile well and he races behind the bridle and does everything in quite a leisurely manner.
"He's not guaranteed to stay but has a bit of size and scope and seems to find hurdling relatively easy; Richie McLernon was happy with his schooling."
The first juvenile of the season in Ireland won't be run until August – surely a factor in the decision of Keith Watson and Madeleine Tylicki to travel over from Ireland.
County Armagh-based Watson saddles Blue Petal, whose success over an extended seven furlongs at Tipperary last August makes her the only other winner among the six.
Tylicki is represented by Casamento gelding Good Shot Sir and has booked Paddy Brennan for what will be his first racecourse experience.
"We've had this in mind for a while and he loves his jumping and been schooling away for a couple of months now," said Tylicki.
"He's a nice horse in the making and if it all goes to plan I'd be hoping for a good run. I have him as prepared as I can first time out but he'll definitely improve for the run.
"We had to be patient because he grew a lot, and as he took to the jumping we thought we'd keep him for that."
There will be no Derby dreams at Hexham but for the Romans and I syndicate – the owners of Good Shot Sir – and connections of their five rivals, a win on Saturday will still taste sweet.
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