Scudamore looking forward to runaway Chepstow winner Ramses De Teillee
Runaway Chepstow winner Ramses De Teillee is likely to be a warm order for the feature TI Engineering Crane Services Handicap Chase (2.10) at Fontwell, where stamina will be at a premium following heavy weekend rain.
The going was good, good to soft in places on Saturday but the track reported 17mm of overnight rain on Sunday morning, on top of which there were another 4-5mm before some of us had put the kettle on and buttered our toast. It will be soft at best but could well go heavy, and that should be right up Ramses De Teillee's street.
It was heavy for his latest run in a novices' handicap chase at Chepstow and David Pipe's grey was in his element, galloping his rivals into the ground and coming home an easy 17-length winner. A 15lb rise makes life tougher, but this is not a great race and the form now has some substance.
Jockey Tom Scudamore, who enjoyed Grade 1 success in the same colours on Dynaste at Kempton and Cheltenham, is looking forward to riding him and said: "It was a very good performance at Chepstow on his first run over fences and he should handle the ground.
"He was bought with chasing in mind and had schooled well, and you could only be extremely pleased with what he did there in a race which is working out well.
"He's no Dynaste – at this stage he's just the same colour and has the same colours – but it was a great start."
Ton-up a possibility
Harry Skelton was denied an opportunity to reach the 100-winner mark in double-quick time when snow forced Huntingdon's abandonment on Sunday, but Fontwell offers three realistic possibilities for him to ride the two winners he requires.
Skelton, whose best in a season is 101 winners, reached 98 on Workbench at Sandown on Friday but was out of luck there the following day.
Monday's competition is much weaker and Skelton rides the 80-rated former Roger Charlton maiden Comrade Conrad in the juvenile hurdle (12.40), Plumpton winner Roksana in the mares' novice hurdle (1.45) and last month's disappointing Wetherby favourite Get On The Yager against Ramses De Teillee in the feature staying handicap chase (2.15).
All three are trained by his brother Dan, who has supplied every one of his 98 winners so far.
Abraj Dubai is a fascinating runner in Southwell's 7f sunbets.co.uk Handicap (2.30), the feature event on a routine card which will have to pass an 8am inspection, as the handicapper faced an unenviable task in assessing her on just one public performance.
A Street Cry filly from the family of Fantastic Light, she was picked up unraced from Godolphin for just 10,000gns at Tattersalls in July by David O'Meara, for whom she obliged over the course and distance at the first time of asking.
While Abraj Dubai was left with little to beat after the favourite flopped and she was chased home by a rival firmly anchored to a mark of just 60, one had to be impressed by the ease with which she drew eight lengths clear and so an opening mark of 80 – the ceiling rating for this race – could easily underestimate her.
Southwell's novice race (1.30) offers another opportunity to take stock of Sir Mark Prescott's imposing Declaration Of War colt On The Warpath, whose heavily eased recent course-and-distance win had jockey Luke Morris talking of "a lovely big horse who will hopefully go on to better things" and Racing Post analyst Ron Wood wondering if the master of Heath House might be tempted to contemplate a crack at the UAE Classics.
Until recently one would have guessed the chances of that happening were somewhere between extremely slim and non-existent, but with the fun Prescott had with Marsha at Del Mar still fresh in his mind and retirement on the not too distant horizon one senses that almost anything is possible.
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