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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Four things to look out for across Britain and Ireland

The Rowley Mile at Newmarket looks set for some nice weather this week
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Juveniles in Newmarket spotlight

Two-year-olds take centre stage on the Rowley Mile, with seven of the eight races on the card dedicated to the age group.

It could be a meeting that wears out the pause and rewind buttons when watching replays, as some stars of the future may be lurking.

Charlie Appleby has had a very good season with his two-year-olds, and possesses the best runners to winners strike-rate in Britain with juveniles for 2017 at an impressive 37 per cent (45 from 121).

He has three chances to add to that tally on the card, and said: "I was pleased with Bow Street's (4.05) first run and reverting to turf should suit him.

"Brundtland (4.40) has been progressing the last six to eight weeks. He's a horse for next year and will be one for middle distances. Key Victory (2.55) has come to hand in the last six weeks and has put some nice pieces of work in of late."

Like Bow Street, Knight To Behold has already made his debut when an excellent second in the Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes at Newbury on debut, and bids to go one better for Harry Dunlop.

Knight To Behold (near side) went into many people's notebooks after his promising debut

The trainer said: "He's a home bred colt and ran a super race first time out against previous winners. We're hopeful of a nice run." 

Ed Walker has team in great form, with three juvenile winners in the last week, and Simpson (5.15) bids to continue that run of form.

A winner at Windsor on his handicap debut, the son of Dragon Pulse has continued to improve, and was a very unlucky loser back at the track last time when third.

"Hopefully he can run well," Walker said. "We had him in the Silver Tankard at Pontefract, but the ground was too soft. He's got a very progressive profile and is going to be a nice horse for next year."

Murphy's bumper debut at Sedgefield

Olly Murphy has already hit the ground running as a trainer, and he will break more new ground at Sedgefield on Wednesday when sending out his first bumper runner.

Olly Murphy: has made an excellent start in the training ranks

Since starting out in July, Murphy has had 18 winners over both codes, and sends the aptly-named Fresh New Dawn north to compete in the 2m½f bumper (4.55).

"I've been there before for Gordon [Elliott] but it's my first runner there and my first bumper runner," Murphy said.

On the chances of Fresh New Dawn, who was second in an Irish point before joining Murphy, he added: "I'd be delighted if he was placed. Whatever he does in bumpers or hurdles will be a bonus as he's a proper staying chaser."

Fry Rocks

Anyone wondering if Old Harry Rocks is an homage to trainer Harry Fry would be wrong, as the five-year-old hurdler is actually named after the famous chalk formations on the Dorset coast.

The only course-and-distance winner in the field, Old Harry Rocks will be trying to win the valuable Fixed Brush Hurdle Series Final (3.55) for Fry, who said: "He's probably plenty high enough in the ratings for what's he achieved.

"We've freshened him up for the race but I think there might be some better handicapped ones in there."knight

Golden oldies 

Ten-year-old sprinters Maarek and Bubbly Bellini clash in Navan's opener (1.50) with Bubbly Bellini seeking win number 20 of his career and Maarek bidding for a first win since August 2015.

The winner of 13 of his 74 races, Maarek, who achieved his biggest success when landing the Prix de L'Abbaye in 2013, showed signs of a return to form when third in a Listed event over today's course and trip last time.

Maarek won the 2013 Prix de l'Abbaye on soft ground

His trainer Evanna McCutcheon said: "We were delighted with Maarek's last run but disappointed that he got a 7lb hike in the ratings considering he hasn't won for so long.

"He's in very good form – he dropped me yesterday morning – and the track, the trip and the ground will suit. His first ever win was at Navan.

"Killian Hennessy got a good tune out of him last time and will be able to claim his 5lb allowance this time."

Bubbly Bellini, who will be contesting his 139th race, achieved his most recent win at Fairyhouse last month. Trainer Ado McGuinness said of Colin Keane's mount: "We'd love if he could make it win number 20. He's in super form and will love the testing ground."

Key Victory has come to hand in the last six weeks and has put some nice pieces of work in of late
E.W. Terms
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