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Flat's not the way to do it – Harley relishing second ride over hurdles

Martin Harley: rides Amadeus Rox over hurdles for Alan King
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An Irish 1,000 Guineas and a Royal Ascot Group 1 are just some of the highlights on Martin Harley's CV, but he is pretty keen to win Lingfield's 2m handicap hurdle (2.20).

Harley is not, of course, thinking of a permanent switch of codes, but instead takes part in the track's annual race for Flat jockeys.

His only ride over jumps came in the corresponding contest in 2012, when he finished fourth on Lodgician for Nigel Twiston-Davies, and he is hoping for better on the Alan King-trained Amadeus Rox.

"It's always something I've wanted to try again as I do quite a bit of hunting in the winter and last year didn't suit because there was nothing worth riding," said Harley, who will be joined by James Sullivan and Shane Kelly among others.

"I ride quite a bit for Alan on the Flat and got asked to ride, so I'm on. I think he's got a good chance. I like what I've seen and there are no letters next to his name, so he knows how to stand up."

Some friendly rivalry 

Novice hurdles at this time of year might lack some strength in depth if trainers try to avoid their counterparts' good things, but Worcester's 2.00 is no one-horse race with an intriguing newcomer from the yard of ten-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls taking on a rival based with his former protege Harry Fry.

Owned by Mike Grech and Stuart Parkin, an emerging force in jump racing, Some Man cost £165,000 after bolting up in an Irish point-to-point in March.

His dam, Miss Denman, is a sister to Nicholls' 2007 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman and it is unsurprising the trainer rates the four-year-old as a nice prospect.

In the Fry corner and JP McManus colours is Onefortheroadtom, who got the better of Grade 2 bumper winner Lalor at Exeter last month.

That victory, means he concedes weight all round, but is described as a lovely horse in the making by Fry and seems the main reason for top jockey Barry Geraghty to make a rare enough visit to a track at which he has a 25 per cent strike-rate.

King at home at Huntingdon

Nowhere has Neil King had more winners than at Huntingdon, where the promising Canyon City bids to follow up his recent course-and-distance victory in the 1.10.

Formerly owned and trained by Godolphin and Andre Fabre, the son of Authorized cost King £85,000 in December and a comeback run on the Flat at Chepstow was followed by a solid third at Warwick on his hurdling debut.

He bettered that with victory at Huntingdon last month and looks a leading player despite carrying a penalty for that success.

O'Brien's Cheltenam hope

It is unclear whether Fergal O'Brien bought a ticket for Friday's EuroMillions, but he might as well have done as he seems to be winning pretty much everything else.

The in-form trainer, who saddled the impressive Cap Soleil at Newbury last week and landed Sandown's bumper on Sunday with Mercy Mercy Me, is operating at a 38 per cent strike-rate in the past fortnight and is on course to better last season's personal best of 60 winners.

His only runner on Tuesday comes in Huntingdon's 3.10 with Cheltenam De Vaige, second on his debut for O'Brien at Plumpton last month and a player if stepping forward from that.


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I like what I've seen and there are no letters next to his name, so he knows how to stand up
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