Timoshenko aiming to prove more than just a flat-track bully
Timoshenko is out to graduate from being a 'flat track bully' to a proper stakes performer when he takes on four opponents in the Archerfield Cup Handicap (4.10) at Musselburgh.
Sir Mark Prescott's scopey chestnut, who is among a strong turnout of three representatives from Newmarket in the £30,000 contest, is on a remarkable five-timer after wins at Chepstow (twice), Ayr and Lingfield.
The son of Archipenko, who is one of the few in the field to have won over this trip of two miles, has risen 16lb in the handicap to a mark of 74 since kicking off his winning spree just over a month ago.
Tim Palin, racing manager to the owners Middleham Park Racing, said: "We would be hopeful but not confident that Timoshenko can continue his winning run, but it's just a question of whether he's a flat-track bully against lesser opposition. This is a different level of competition against some in-form horses but he'll have no problem with the trip."
He added: "He's the sort of horse that could run in the 2m4f race at Goodwood next year and he really is remarkable as he looks like a giraffe – he's so big."
Rather than winning at lesser venues, fellow HQ raider Artarmon struck at a Grade 1 track Sandown last time and is on a roll of his own after previously scoring at Catterick.
Michael Bell's up-and-comer carries a 6lb penalty for his defeat of Moon Of Baroda over 1m6f at Sandown when he shaped as if this extra quarter-mile should be within his compass.
Bell said: "Artarmon has improved massively since we gelded him and fitted him with cheekpieces. He shaped as if he would get this trip at Sandown and could even be better served by it. It's a competitive race but he's on the up."
The only filly in the race is the Qatar Racing-owned Life On Earth, who is on a similar sequence following wins at Lingfield and Windsor.
The three-year-old is one of only a few Animal Kingdom offspring in racing.
David Redvers, racing manager to the owners, said: "Life On Earth is a progressive type who is on an upward curve with her racing and she deserves a crack at this. It's difficult to know how good she is as she only does enough to win, but we're hopeful she'll get the trip."
Mark Johnston, who has won this three times since its inception in 2013, fields Austrian School, who has yet to run over this trip. The five-strong field is made up by outsider Gallus.
Conkering to collect?
The gods were smiling down on Joe Tuite when his prolific stayer Conkering Hero won at Wolverhampton last time and the Lambourn trainer is hopeful the topweight can complete a four-timer on his return to Dunstall Park for the Dacia Logan Handicap (4.20).
The four-year-old was originally slated to run at Bath that day, but the transfer of that meeting to the West Midlands could not have worked out any better.
Tuite said: "He was booked to run at Bath, where he wouldn't have won anyway as the ground would've been against him, but thankfully they moved it to Wolverhampton which was a stroke of luck."
Conkering Hero duly took advantage and completed a hat-trick of all-weather wins when accounting for Cray by a length, but he now has a 6lb penalty to carry.
Tuite said: "He's 2lb wrong at the weights but Finley Marsh offsets that as he claims 5lb as opposed to Nicola Currie, who claimed 3lb last time. He's come out of that in great form and we're hopeful of another good run."
Doyle double header
There is a rare post-racing evening clash at Newmarket and Chelmsford where you can take your pick of post-racing acts between Nile Rogers & Chic (Newmarket) or Razorlight (Chelmsford).
Surprisingly few jockeys are taking in both meetings despite a journey time of only 50 minutes, but one notable exception is James Doyle.
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