Course specialist Rock On Baileys ready to challenge again at Chelmsford
Rock On Baileys may have finished last in Listed company at Pontefract last time, but her trainer Chris Dwyer is confident a return to Chelmsford will see his three-year-old filly back at her best in the Greene King IPA Fillies' Conditions Stakes (3.30).
"She looks to have a very good chance and goes there in good form. She loves Chelmsford and seemed to get the seven around there last time, so we’re going to give it another go.
The daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar, a three-time course winner, will be partnered by champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa and faces just three rivals, despite the Essex track offering £35,000 prize money.
"You can put a line through her last run – ignore it completely. We’ll try another Listed race this season if we can, she might just have one more run and then we’ll put her away for the year."
All-weather return could prove key
After winning a highly competitive big-field handicap at York in May, Encrypted struggled on his two starts at Newmarket and Windsor, but trainer Hugo Palmer is optimistic of a better showing in the Old Golden Hen Handicap (4.00) at Chelmsford.
The Newmarket trainer can point to his gelding's unbeaten record on all-weather surfaces, as the three-year-old looks to bounce back to his progressive performance on the Knavesmire.
"I’ve been very happy with him. He was unlucky at Windsor, every time he went for a gap it was closed on him," Palmer said. "He was much better than he’d been at Newmarket, but he had run badly at Newmarket before.
"He’s got a good record around the bend on the all-weather and is a winner over five at Chelmsford and six at Kempton, so fingers crossed he can resume his progress."
Charlie Appleby's Roussel, a three-time runner-up in Listed contests, sports first-time cheekpieces and is one of four rivals to Encrypted in what is another disappointing turnout for a £30,000 pot.
Questions to answer for St Patrick's Day
Tipperary's evening card sees St Patrick's Day, brother to US Triple Crown hero American Pharoah, drop significantly in trip in the Listed Kilfrush Stud Abergwaun Stakes (6.55) in which he is one of three runners for Aidan O'Brien.
Having failed over seven furlongs and one mile in three attempts for Ballydoyle, St Patrick's Day drops to the minimum distance and O'Brien said: "We're trying something new with him and hoping he goes well. We also run Different League, who ran well over the distance at Sandown last time, and Dali, who would appreciate the ground drying out."
The Darren Bunyan-trained Hit The Bid, a Group 3 winner over the trip in 2016 and at Listed level, returns for the first time since finishing down the field in Dubai. British interest centres on Under The Covers, whose trainer Ron Harris said: "She's in good form and came out of Goodwood very well. Ground on the easy side will help her, I hope."
Fontwell novice to provide early pointers
You would not generally expect to see talented novice chasers in late August, but if the recent London Office Exchange Novices' Chase (7.05) roll of honour is anything to go by, it could be an informative three-runner contest.
Won by Black Corton and Shantou Village in the last two seasons, it may be up to the Nicky Henderson-trained Brave Eagle to state his credentials as a future graded contender.
However, a win at the Sussex track is no foregone conclusion, as he was made to work on his chasing debut and faces a pair of interesting contenders.
Jaleo, trained by Ben Pauling, disappointed in handicap company last time but had looked useful on his previous chasing starts and could be set for an ambitious trip Stateside in the coming months.
Pauling, speaking on Wednesday, said: "He just sort of lost his confidence at Southwell, which is a bit of a surprise as he had been a very good jumper before.
"I think it was a lack of experience that caught him out last time. He’s flat bred and ultimately, until they get a bit of confidence, they sometimes take a little bit longer to progress. Hopefully he can get back on the straight and narrow.
"The American Grand National is still very much a possibility, but there is a novice event on the same day which is going to be an option for him.
"The likelihood is he will probably go to America at some point in October, but we need tomorrow to go very well to be looking at the American National."
The Colin Tizzard-trained Exxaro completes the trio of runners.
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