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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Three to watch on the all-weather in Britain

Daniel Steele saddles Footstepsintherain, who is returning from a 609-day absence
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No weather fears for Footstepsintherain 

With jumps fixtures at Hexham and Leicester falling victim to the wintery conditions, racing relies on the all-weather to provide the action from Lingfield, Kempton and the rescheduled Wolverhampton.

Luckily for trainer Daniel Steele, his aptly-named Footstepsintherain won't mind the forecast downpour and freezing cold temperatures when he makes a belated return to action at Lingfield (12.30) following a 609-day absence. 

The seven-year-old, who was last seen winning a 7f handicap for Lee Carter at Kempton in April last year, is reported to be in fine fettle by his trainer.

"He's been going well," said Steele. "It's been tough trying to find races for him and in an ideal world it would be over a mile. There's no races for him at the moment." 

The gelding will face six rivals, all of whom have run within the last four weeks and consequently have race fitness on their side, but Steele added that he feels the horse has shown enough at home to run a pleasing race. 

"Amir [Quinn], who rode him to win at Kempton over a year ago, has been riding him in his work recently and he thinks the engine is still there, but they've still got to do it on the track."

Bin Suroor unleashes well-bred colt

Saeed Bin Suroor has been operating at a strike-rate of 33 per cent in the last fortnight and he saddles an intriguing runner at Kempton in the shape of Returning Glory.

The two-year-old son of Exceed And Excel, a half-brother to the useful True Story, will be partnered by Jimmy Quinn on his racecourse debut in the Matchbook VIP Novices' Stakes (5.10).

He will undoubtedly interest many a punter as he is a half-brother to four winners who have all achieved RPRs over 100. 

Saeed bin Suroor saddles an interesting new recruit at Kempton on Wednesday

Nicholls pair team up for Flat outing

Paul Nicholls may have won the Tingle Creek for a record tenth time with Politologue at the weekend but he is not averse to running a few on the Flat. 

He saddles Volpone Jelois in Lingfield's Betway Casino Handicap (1.00), who returns to the Flat for the first time since finishing second in a handicap at Salisbury in May.

The four-year-old, who was last seen in action finishing fifth in a handicap hurdle at Wincanton last month, will be partnered by Nicholls' daughter Megan.

Having won a hurdle race at Taunton this time last year, the son of Vol De Nuit has also produced a decent level of form on the Flat – running up to an RPR of 80 on his last run. 

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He thinks the engine is still there, but they've still got to do it on the track
E.W. Terms
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