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Bess Of Hardwick ready to take on the boys in Wild Flower

Luca Cumani: trainer Jonathan Portman learned plenty during his time at Bedford House - despite his daydreaming tendencies
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6.55 Kempton
32Red Wild Flower Stakes | 1m4f | 3yo+ Listed | RUK

Bess Of Hardwick bids for back-to-back Listed wins on the all-weather, but with £40,000 on offer faces some stiff opposition in an autumn treat for Flat fans.

Trained by Luca Cumani, who won this contest with Cheetah in 2010, Bess Of Hardwick signed off her turf campaign with victory in a handicap at Doncaster in September and bridged the gap to Listed level at Lingfield last month.

This looks a stronger contest on paper, although the Duke Of Devonshire’s four-year-old is lightly raced with just six runs to her name and the best is likely still to come.   

She is one of six last-time-out winners in the race, including recent Chelmsford scorer Curbyourenthusiasm, who is officially top rated in the line-up and was second in the Group 2 Betway Yorkshire Cup in May.

Back to form
Star Storm captured the Group 3 Gigaset Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot last year and returned to form when second to Western Hymn in the Listed 32Red Floodlit Stakes at this track earlier in the month.


What they say

David Simcock, trainer of Curbyourenthusiasm
He won a handicap off 105 last time and we’re just testing the water on the all-weather. It’s not going to be easy by any means with his style of running, and there are one or two nice horses in there, but we go there with an open mind. He picked up well last time so I’m not too concerned about the trip.

Hughie Morrison, trainer of Not So Sleepy
He’d ideally like it slow. We were hoping to go and win the November Handicap with him but it was pointless running on firm so we kept him back for this. 

James Fanshawe, trainer of Star Storm
It was really good to see him running so well last time and he seems in really good form, so I’m hoping he can do the same again. It’s competitive but he’s showed form on the track, which should help.

Luca Cumani, trainer of Bess Of Hardwick
This is a tougher assignment against colts but her last two runs have been quality, and if she repeats that she’ll hopefully be in the shake-up.

Stephane Wattel, trainer of Dogma
She remains in very good form and, as she's an all-weather specialist, I've deliberately kept her fresh for the end of the season. Last time we made the running because there wasn't a lot of pace on but I don't think we'll necessarily be repeating those tactics.

Hugo Palmer, trainer of Crimean Tatar
He had a small setback after his debut but looks well beyond that now. It’s a huge jump from a maiden to Listed class and we’ll find out a little bit more about where we're at.

Charlie Fellowes, trainer of Prince Of Arran
It's a step up in class but he won a decent handicap as he liked last time and has an interesting profile on the all-weather. We've all got Star Storm to beat but I think mine is definitely up to Listed standard.

This is a tougher assignment against colts but her last two runs have been quality and if she repeats that, she'll hopefully be in the shake-up
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