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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Wolfcatcher ready to pounce if things click

Ian Williams: double handed in race he has won twice
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1.40 Ascot
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers Handicap | 2m | 4yo+ | ITV4/RUK

Ian Williams has won this race twice in the last ten years and perhaps not surprisingly has found a pair of runners to keep up his record.

Byron Flyer has won five times over hurdles and has been inching up the handicap on the Flat after two second places on his last two turf starts.

Wolfcatcher has come down the weights despite running his best race on the Flat for Williams when fifth in the Brown Jack Handicap over course and distance.

Sisters are doing it for themselves

Women have taken the last three runnings of this race with Sammy Jo Bell and Emma-Jayne Wilson riding winners and Amanda Perrett and Lady Cecil training them.

The females are strongly represented again with Gay Kelleway and Eve Johnson Houghton saddling runners.

Johnson Houghton will have Wilson on her representative Fleeting Visit, while Hayley Turner rides Wolfcatcher in a race Michelle Payne will sit out.

Emma-Jayne Wilson (centre) rides Fleeting Visit, while Hayley Turner (right) will be aboard Wolfcatcher

Hoping to hit it out of the park

Japan's Kenichi Ikazoe was on the winning Rest Of The World team 12 months ago but was not seen at his best when touched off in this race by teammate Gavin Lerena, after kicking for home with 5f to run.

Keita Tosaki, who represents his country this time, has won the most valuable jockey award for the last three years.

He had dreams of becoming a professional baseball player as a schoolboy so will be hoping to secure a home run on the strongly fancied Graceland.

What they say

Ian Williams, trainer of Byron Flyer and Wolfcatcher
Byron Flyer has been running well on turf without winning on it this season. He is creeping up the handicap but he is in good form. Wolfcatcher has not been performing as well as I would have hoped, but is falling down the handicap. His runs suggest if things clicked right he would have a chance.

Michael Bell, trainer of Graceland
She has been very consistent and is a course and distance winner having scoring at Ascot in May. The rest is over to Mr Tosaki.

Jim Goldie, trainer of Euchen Glen
We are giving him a go at two miles. He has been staying on at the end of one mile four races and we thought we might eke out some improvement at this trip.

Andrew Balding, trainer of Swashbuckle
The conditions will suit again and he's in good form. He won nicely last time at Salisbury with some cut in the ground.

Richard Fahey, trainer of Angel Gabrial
He’s been in good form lately but races like this can produce unusual results. He has not won for more than three years so it would be good to see him get his head in front.

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She has been very consistent and is course and distance winner from scoring at Ascot in May. The rest is over to Mr Tosaki
E.W. Terms
Sky bet