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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Carr hopeful with good opportunity for Sovereign Debt

Sovereign Debt (grey): a winner of the Diomed Stakes on Derby day last year
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6.50 Windsor
Weatherbys Racing Bank Supporting Mental Health Foundation Stakes (Listed) | 1m, 3yo + | ATR

Ruth Carr has found an ideal opportunity for popular veteran Sovereign Debt, who was a winner at Group 2 and Group 3 level last season and now drops to Listed company for the first time in more than a year.

The grey enjoyed a new lease in the previous campaign, when he followed his win on all-weather finals day with a Group 2 success in the bet365Mile at Sandown and a Derby Day Group 3 victory in the Investec Diomed Stakes.

He found life tougher afterwards, though far from disgraced at Newmarket on his final start, and when he reappeared at Sandown as a nine-year-old he beat only two home in the race he had won 12 months earlier.

However, Carr believes he has come on significantly for the run.

She said: "He's come out of the Sandown race really well and has improved fitness wise. This is a drop in class and it looks a good opportunity.

"We were pleased with the Sandown run and he's been in good form since. He's pretty laid-back at home and so hard to gauge, but he's eating well and showing all the signs that he retains his enthusiasm. The change in the going to good to soft won't worry him, and so we're looking forward to it."

Khafoo Shememi: a leading contender for Richard Hannon
The Hannon stable has won three of the last eight runnings and will be doubly represented this time, with Khafoo Shememi, who faded to finish a place behind Sovereign Debt in last month's race after making the running and will be ridden by 1,000 Guineas winner Sean Levey, and Oh This Is Us, who won a valuable handicap at Meydan in February and is the mount of Tom Marquand once again.

Khafoo Shememi has to concede a 3lb penalty, as does Mr Owen, but Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail, fancies his chances. 

Raymond said: "We like him a lot and hopefully he'll have a good chance. The track will suit him and give in the ground is in his favour."

While the ground should be fine for Sovereign Debt and Khafoo Shememi, it is less likely to suit 2015 Sussex Stakes runner-up Arod, who made a promising return to action when just touched off by Jallota on Polytrack at Kempton but has always shown a preference for fast ground.

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He's pretty laid back at home and so hard to gauge, but he's eating well and showing all the signs that he retains his enthusiasm
E.W. Terms
Sky bet