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Channon relies on Veejay as he bids to lift Tankard for fifth time

Mick Channon: hoping Veejay can go for gold in Silver Tankard
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3.50 Pontefract
Totepool ebfstallions.com Silver Tankard Stakes | Listed | 1m | 2yo | RUK

Going Soft (good to soft in places)
Weather Light rain

This Listed juvenile contest is the feature of a meeting that brings the curtain down on another season at the Yorkshire venue and it is a race in which southern raiders have held an advantage over their northern counterparts in the past 20 years.

Mick Channon is the most successful trainer with a runner as he has collected the prize four times since 2000, and he is represented by Veejay on this occasion. The son of Approve has already been successful three times this term.

Last year’s winning connections – owner Godolphin, trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey William Buick – are looking to follow up D’Bai’s victory with Old Persian, who arrives on the back of wins at Newmarket and Chelmsford.

However, the youngster is unproven on soft going, as he was beaten on his debut at Newmarket’s in August when there was plenty of cut in the ground.

He looks sure to start one of the market leaders, but his backers will have to hope he can cope with the underfoot conditions.


What they say

Bryan Smart, trainer of Alfa McGuire
He's in good form but we wouldn't want any more rain. I don’t think the step up to a mile will be a problem but testing ground might be. We'll have a good look at conditions when we're there and make up our minds.

Clive Cox, trainer of Connect
He handled an easier surface earlier in the year so I’m hopeful he'll be fine on the soft ground. He was a bit free on his last run back in September but we've freshened him up at home and he should run his race.

Marco Botti, trainer of Dark Acclaim
I don’t think the ground should be too much of a problem as he's by Dark Angel and they like a bit of cut. He'll be even better next year but is ready for a run.

Charlie Appleby, trainer of Old Persian
He's won his last two starts over this trip at Chelmsford and Newmarket but is stepping up to Listed level here for the first time.

Karl Burke, trainer of Unwritten
He won his novice really well but you don’t get well handicapped winning by nine lengths, so we thought we'd give this race a shot. He'll handle the ground but is one for next year. We're hopeful rather than confident.


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BULLETIN BOARD

Jumping Jack

Leading point-to-point trainer Jack Barber saddles his second runner since taking out a full licence in the shape of Smart Boy in the 2m4f handicap hurdle at Plumpton (5.30).

The six-year-old failed to win for Tim Easterby but went very close for Barber in a point-to-point last May when beaten only a short head after almost coming down at the final fence. Barber is a trainer to keep an eye on for the future.

Happy as Larry

Gary Moore is always a trainer to keep on side at Plumpton and sends out the very interesting Larry, who makes his hurdling debut in the opening maiden hurdle (2.30).

After making a hugely encouraging winning start to his career in a Fontwell bumper, Larry found it all too much in Graded company at Aintree in the spring. But he certainly merits a second look in this company with the trainer's son Jamie booked and riding very well.

On title trail

Trainer Rod Millman's son and assistant Patrick is leading the way in the amateur Flat riders' title with six wins on the board to date and has a chance of adding to that tally on John Caesar in the finale at Windsor (5.10).

Trained by Rebecca Bastiman, the six-year-old makes the long haul from North Yorkshire to Berkshire, and he could well make the trip pay off as he handles soft ground well and has already scored this term with Millman jnr in the saddle. 

Obviously he won his novice really well but you don’t get well handicapped winning by nine lengths, so we thought we would give this race a shot
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