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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

King Kevin out to score again with all-weather record within reach

Ed Dunlop: owns and trains King Kevin, who has been in fine form this winter
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King Kevin is still in the mix to be the winningmost all-weather performer of the winter and on Thursday bids for his sixth success since November in the Bet quadpot At Handicap (6.45) at Chelmsford.

Despite being a son of sprinter Holy Roman Emperor, King Kevin has no problem staying a mile and a half, and carries a penalty for scoring over that distance at Wolverhampton last week.

Although he has two furlongs less to tackle this time around, King Kevin is back where he kicked off his winning spree over course and distance before Christmas.

The four-year-old runs in trainer Ed Dunlop's own pink and blue colours and was originally set to go under the hammer at the Tattersalls February Sales before earning a reprieve.

Dunlop said on Wednesday: "King Kevin keeps on winning and loves it at Chelmsford, where he's won twice already. Hopefully we can get to number six but we are worried that there may well be no pace on with so few runners.

"If he wins we may have to think about going for the record but we'll have to regroup after tomorrow night."

The Phil McEntee-trained Spare Parts joined Captain Lars as the leading all-weather performer on seven victories when landing the 7f handicap at Kempton on Wednesday night.

Another day in the French sun for Watson?

Archie Watson hit the target with his first runner of the year in France last week and crosses the channel in search of further euros with Herecomesthesun in the Listed Prix La Camargo (12.10) at Fontainebleau.

The recent Kempton winner is out to follow up the win of smart stablemate Corinthia Knight in similar company at Chantilly last Thursday.

Herecomesthesun did things the hard way when making most of the running to defy a penalty over a mile at Kempton, an outing that could give her a fitness edge over six locals.

The daughter of Invincible Spirit was sent off 11-10 that day on the back of her previous third to Hadith in the Listed Montrose Stakes at Newmarket last season.

Watson said: "It's hard to know how the form stacks up from the French provinces but Herecomesthesun did it well at Kempton, which was a trial for this.

"She showed that evening she can make the running if needs be and the plan is to get some more black type. The trip of a mile and likely ease in the ground won't worry her and she goes out there in good shape."

George makes the trip to Cork

Noel George, son of Cheltenham-based trainer Tom, is the British representative in the first leg of the Gentlemen's League/Fegentri championship series which takes place at a sold-out Cork on student raceday.

The two-and-a-half-mile contest, more formally known as the CIT Cream Of the Crop (QR) Handicap Hurdle (4.15), is the first of 11 stages of the European championship dedicated to amateur jump jockeys.

Six riders from across Europe have been selected to represent their country and will try to accumulate most points throughout the year, with four appearing in the opening race of the series, including the Irish flag-flyer Raymond Barron.

The championship will take in six other countries in addition to Ireland, with races in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Belgium, England and France to follow.

George, 18, has been booked to ride the Michael Winters-trained Winter Breeze in the 11-runner contest, which also includes local amateur jockeys.

His father Tom said: "It's good experience for Noel, and I think he's in for an extra thrill in the morning when he is going to ride out for Willie Mullins."

George has nine winners, while French representative Guillaume Viel has 11.

Barron is aboard Bee A Beneficiary for Declan Queally, while representing the US is Mark Galligan, who has been honing his skills in Britain recently and rides Nicat's Benefit.

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I wish him good luck with understanding the pre-race instructions though as I can't tell a word that Michael Winters ever says!
E.W. Terms
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