Queally jets back from a winter stateside for two Kempton rides
1 Queally back for Kempton action
Kempton features the return of Tom Queally with two rides for Newmarket trainers after Frankel’s jockey jetted back from a winter in America on Tuesday.
Queally, who bagged another Group 1 with The Tin Man’s Diamond Jubilee win at Royal Ascot last June, had his worst year for winners with just 29 having hit 100 winners for four years running from 2008 when linking up with Sir Henry Cecil.
Queally flew out to America last November at the end of the turf season contemplating his future after a downturn in support although his prize-money remained steady with his big wins, including the Northumberland Plate on another James Fanshawe-trained winner Higher Power.
He teams up with John Butler for Connemera Queen in the 0-65 that opens Kempton’s all-weather card at 5.45 on Wednesday.
The Newmarket trainer, who has supplied Queally with ten winners from 53 rides, said: “Tom is a good friend and his agent rang to say he was coming back and looking forward to getting back after spending the winter first in San Francisco and then Kentucky, riding a few winners and riding work.
“Tom is a good friend and been good to me – I wish I had a Frankel for him.
“Connemera Queen has been consistent recently but I would be hopeful rather than confident of her chances.”
Queally also rides Heavenly Guest in the following novice median auction for owner John Guest and trainer George Margarson.
2 Attain bids for ninth course success
Archie Watson, a rising force among the training ranks, may have more talented horses in his yard, but it’s no surprise he has a soft spot for the wonderfully prolific nine-year-old Attain, who bids for his ninth course success in Lingfield’s 1m4f Take The Reins Handicap (5.20).
On a hat-trick following two wins over course and distance last month under Pierre-Louis Jamin, Attain has been raised only 3lb for that latest success, and his trainer believes he will run another big race.
“Attain loves it round Lingfield,” Watson said. “He won quite nicely the last two times under Pierre-Louis, who is a very talented apprentice and gets on particularly well with him.
“He’s drawn wider than ideal, but if he can get into a handy position early on I think he will run a big race.”
Attain has won 12 times during his career, the other victories coming at Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Sandown and Bath.
The Olly Murphy-trained Compatriot, who is the mount of Jamie Spencer, could prove his biggest threat from a more favourable draw in stall three.
3 Perfect race for Red Devil Star
Suzy Smith is convinced she has found the perfect race for Red Devil Star, who creeps into Market Rasen’s 0-120 Smarkets Handicap Chase (3.35) on a mark of 118.
Now the Sussex-based trainer is just keeping her fingers firmly crossed that lady luck finally smiles on her after a season which has been plagued by misfortune.
“It’s just been one of those seasons,” Smith said. “Things have never really got going. We’ve been unlucky in photo-finishes and things like that.
“On paper I would be pretty confident that Red Devil Star will win. That trip, which is shorter than what he has raced over recently, is ideal for him and the soft ground suits too.
“He boasts a good cruising speed and jumps so well – Market Rasen really should be perfect. He has been running in better races at the likes of Ascot and Sandown this winter. Now we just need a bit of luck.”
Red Devil Star, who has been dropped 2lb by the handicapper since his last start when finishing third to Drumcliff over 2m3f at Ascot, faces just three rivals, and Smith believes he is fully capable of giving weight all round.
4 Another great chance for veteran Shockingtimes
It’s unusual for horses to produce a career-best performance at the age of 11, but that’s what Shockingtimes did when successful at Haydock last time.
The Jamie Snowden trained veteran powered away up the run-in to slam Buffalo Ballet by seven lengths under Tom O’Brien, and a 7lb hike in the weights might not be enough to stop him if he turns up for Market Rasen’s Molson Coors Handicap Chase (4.40) in the same form.
Shockingtimes has finished runner-up on two of three previous visits to the Lincolnshire track, and Snowden relies on him rather than Midnight Monty, who also figured among the original entries for the three-mile test.
5 Group 1-entered Lubinka could star at Lingfield
Lubinka, who holds an entry in the Darley Irish Oaks, embarks upon her three-year-old career in Lingfield’s Crystal Palace Football Club Fillies’ Novice Median Auction Stakes (4.50) endeavouring to relinquish her maiden certificate at the fourth attempt.
The daughter of Mastercraftsman shaped well in placed efforts over a mile at Doncaster and Ascot last summer prior to being thrown in at the deep end in Newmarket’s Group 1 Fillies’ Mile.
Despite being sent off the rank outsider of 11 runners at 150-1, the Peter Chapple-Hyam trained filly raised her game to finish a highly creditable sixth behind Laurens, and is bred to improve over middle distances this campaign.
This minor event over a mile and a half on Polytrack appears the ideal starting point for Lubinka, and it will be a major surprise if she is beaten.
6 Blue Uluru represents red-hot Lyons
The 6f handicap (7.30) looks by far the most interesting race at Dundalk with all seven runners having won at least once during their two-year-old campaigns last season.
Ger Lyons, who has five winners under his belt so far this year, will be represented by Blue Uluru, a dual winner last season, and she heads the weights off a mark of 89 and will ridden by champion jockey Colin Keane.
In what is a predictably tight affair, the Patrick Prendergast-trained Red Persian and Sunday Smart are also of obvious interest, along with Emadee, winner of a Naas maiden last July.
Emadee’s trainer Andy Slattery said: “I’m delighted with how well she’s wintered – she’s strengthening up lovely and lengthening and everything.
“I think she has a good bit of ability and we’re looking forward to running her, and I’m hopeful she can progress onwards to Naas on May 7, where there’s a Listed race for fillies over five and a half furlongs.”
7 Murtagh on mark again?
Johnny Murtagh, who got off the mark for the turf season at Naas on Saturday when Urban Beat landed the sprint maiden in the colours of Fitzwilliam Racing, will be hoping Wolfofmountstreet can continue the syndicate's fine start to ownership with victory in the opening 5f maiden at Dundalk (6.00).
Fitzwilliam Racing, who had their first runners for Murtagh just last year, are understood to have eight two-year-olds to look forward to for the season, including this son of Sir Percy.
Aidan O'Brien is doubly represented in the race with The Irish Rover, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, and Sergei Prokofiev, the mount of Donnacha O'Brien.
The six-runner contest also features the Dermot Weld-trained Andaleep, Scarlet Skies from Kevin Prendergast's yard, and the Patrick Prendergast-trained Skitter Scatter, the only one who has had a run.
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