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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Ground a worry for Queen Kindly in the Scottish Fillies' Sprint

Al Maktoum Cup Arran Scottish Fillies Sprint contender Queen Kindly winning the Lowther Stakes at York last year
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The time: 3.15 Ayr
The race:
Al Maktoum Cup Arran Scottish Fillies' Sprint | Listed | 5½f | 3yo+ | RUK 
The going: Heavy (inspection 8am)
The weather: Showery

Heavy ground can beat the best of them and that is the worry for Queen Kindly, who can lay claim to head girl in this new Listed sprint for fillies on the back of her Group 2 win in last year’s Lowther.

She was not alone in being unable to compete with this year’s top sprinter Harry Angel in Haydock’s Sprint Cup, but it is the heavy ground more than her opposition that worries connections.

Trainer Richard Fahey said: “I’m a bit worried about the ground for her, but she’s in good form after running a bit free in a Group 1 last time.

“The Wagon Wheel, who was third in a Listed race the other day, has a small chance.”

Spiritual lift

Charlie McBride is much more confident about the chances of Spiritual Lady, who ended last year on the up with a Listed win in the Bosra Sham Stakes.

He said: “She’s had niggly problems, but our stable was not in form in the spring.

“She ran a great comeback race, but probably blew up after getting hampered going into the final furlong. She also ran a bit too fresh after travelling well.

“Everything is perfect – she’s got plenty of speed and loves soft ground. I’m hopeful she’ll win.”

Dream continues

John Gallagher is hoping the dream run of his grey streak of lightning that is Quench Dolly continues at the other end of the country after her Glorious Goodwood success put her on the map last month.

Setting out on the seven-hour journey in the horsebox yesterday morning in search of black type for his handicap winner, Gallagher said: “She’s in great shape and is one of the highest-rated in the race.

“I wasn’t sure about her on this sort of ground before Goodwood, but she produced her best there.

“The ground and trip should suit – she has won over five and six furlongs, so the in-between trip should be fine.

“She’ll be ridden very much as she was at Goodwood, sitting in behind and letting her do her own thing.”

Sainted and Clem Fandango could have lined up in tomorrow’s Gold Cup, but connections of both have opted for this £50,000 prize.


Six-hitter?

Marcus Tregoning is looking for a sixth winner of the Haynes, Hanson and Clark Conditions Stakes (3.30) at Newbury as he takes the wraps off Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's Khazaf.

This Dawn Approach colt was sold for 44,000gns as a foal but clearly blossomed as he made 175,000gns when reoffered as a yearling.

Tregoning last won the race in 2011 with Cavaleiro, who had raced five times, but he won it for Sheikh Hamdan with another newcomer Taameer in 2008 to go with the successes of Elshadi, Nayef and Ethmaar.

Future star

James Bowen rides one of the horses that has helped showcase his talent at Newton Abbot and land a job with champion trainer Nicky Henderson.

Strumble Head is only four years younger than his 16-year-old rider but they have struck up a successful summer partnership. They aim for a third win in five races in the At the Races Sky 415 Handicap Chase (4.45).

Common occurrence

Paul Nicholls could make good use of his conditional Bryony Frost's 5lb claim on topweights this winter.

That is the case with Amour De Nuit, who has won two and finished second twice for Sam Twiston-Davies this summer – climbing the weights to head the field in the PFK Francis Clark Novice Hurdle (3.05).

On her home work she's in great shape and she's one of the highest-rated in the race
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