Talented apprentice bidding for hat-trick with Caribbean Spring
1. Margarson impressed with rising star Elliott
Caribbean Spring landed rising star Jane Elliott her 50th victory in an apprentice handicap at Wolverhampton last week, reducing the 23-year-old’s claim to 3lb.
The winning pair have two wins under their belts already this season and head to Lingfield with every chance of making it three in a row with victory in the mile handicap (6.50), especially as the five-year-old escapes a penalty for last week’s success and will compete off a 1lb lower mark.
Trainer George Margarson said: “We thought we were going to win two or three with him last year, but he has probably taken a bit more time to develop mentally – Jane has learned how to ride him though.
“Her success doesn’t come as a surprise to us. She got a good grounding with Mick Appleby and works hard here. She listens, which is a quality some younger jockeys lack.”
Soaring Spirits looks most likely to halt their winning streak off a feasible mark, but has not competed over a mile since last April when beaten 16½ lengths.
2. Burke hoping for change of luck
Unsurprisingly, two-time champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa is running away with this year’s championship and has five rides at Thirsk’s evening meeting.
His final ride is Karl Burke's Stay In The Light in the 1m4f fillies' handicap (5.45), with the trainer hoping the three-year-old gets the rub of the green on this occasion.
He said: “Stay In The Light has been a bit unlucky on three of her last four runs, so we are due a change and we expect her to go close.
“She was only given eight stone so Silvestre was a no-brainer as we were looking for a lightweight rider and he has run plenty of winners for us.”
3. Diamonds back for more
Dan Skelton boasts an enviable record at Southwell, operating at a 42 per cent strike-rate and topping the trainer rankings with five winners and ten places in 12 chase fixtures during the last year.
The trainer sends out Too Many Diamonds in the 2m4½f handicap chase (6.40) and the seven-year-old is something of a course specialist, having won over the course and distance on his last two outings.
Atlantic Storm lost by a neck over hurdles at Bangor last time but could be another major hope for the Skeltons in the opener, and looked promising on his sole start over fences in December.
4. Wufud bids to build on promise
With the likes of King's Stand Stakes hopeful Battaash set to line up at Royal Ascot, Hamdan Al Maktoum is no stranger to fielding favourites.
And this trend extends beyond the showpiece meetings to Salisbury where Wufud, who showed plenty of promise when finishing second on his debut at Kempton in April for trainer Charles Hills, lines up in the 7f novice stakes (2.30).
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