London – Desert Wind should complete his hat-trick in the Betway Novice Stakes at Wolverhampton on Tuesday.
Ed Vaughan’s charge was well beaten on his racecourse debut at Nottingham in the autumn, but shaped significantly better when switching to the all-weather at Southwell a few weeks later, coming home nicely to finish third behind a very useful operator in Epsom Derby entrant On The Warpath.
Despite that promising effort, it was still surprising to see him blitz his rivals when opening his account over this course and distance shortly after the turn of the year and while the winning distance was not as far there was just as much authority about his latest triumph at Lingfield.
Desert Wind must concede at least 4kg to each of his rivals for his latest assignment, but one of the newcomers will have to be well above average to stop him going in again.
Regina Nostra can make it third time lucky in the first division of the 32Red.com Fillies’ Novice Stakes.
The well-related daughter of Pivotal looked in need of the experience on her introduction at Chelmsford, but still ran with some encouragement to place third.
She occupied the same finishing position on her latest start at Newcastle, but it was a step forward as she was beaten little over a length and may well have finished closer but for being impeded by the eventual winner inside the last 200m.
On both of her starts Regina Nostra has appeared to lack a gear when required, so the step up to 1400m should see her in a better light.
Sweet Symphony has done enough to suggest she can win a race, and her latest opportunity comes in division two of the 32Red.com Fillies’ Novice Stakes.
Marco Botti’s charge is bidding to strike at the fourth attempt and the return to 1400m can only boost her chance.
A close eye should be kept on another Botti runner when Zefferino goes in the ROA/Racing Post Owners’ Jackpot Handicap.
The son of Frankel looked promising in his early days with Roger Charlton, but has been gelded and will be having his second start for Botti. His first run for his new stable came at Kempton last month and was not devoid of promise on the back of a lengthy break.
Rosmuc Relay can make it two wins in as many starts under rules in Wetherby’s Novices’ Hurdle.
A point to point winner last December, he subsequently changed hands for £42,000 and immediately paid back a little bit of that price tag when strolling home on his first start for Kim Bailey at Leicester.
A 19-length winner that day, he was left clear when his only rival fell at the last, but Rosmuc Relay looked a likely winner in any case as he was staying on to such good effect.
Rosmuc Relay would appear to be an excellent chase prospect in due course, but he seems pretty capable over hurdles too.
Maebh is a course winner returning to Wetherby in the concluding Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
The Seamus Mullins-trained mare built on a promising debut third at Newbury to open her account a month ago and the form looks sound with the third, Fforbidden Love, scoring since.
Maebh still looked green despite scoring and is certainly capable of raising her game with that experience under her belt.
Unison is capable of giving weight and a beating to his rivals in the Handicap Hurdle at Taunton.
Jeremy Scott’s inmate was a shock 33-1 winner of a valuable prize at Huntingdon earlier in the campaign, but has since proved there was no fluke about the performance whatsoever.
He failed to get competitive on his next couple of starts at Sandown and Kempton, but ran a cracker to finish third behind The New One and Ch’Tibello in the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock last month and defied top-weight to register a 13th career win over this course and distance just over a fortnight ago.
Unison is rated 140 now, which is a career-high mark for the eight-year-old, but the authority of his latest win suggests a 2.5kg rise is more than fair. – Press Association
SELECTIONS (UK starting times):
CLONMEL: 1.50 Decision Time, 2.20 Mohart, 2.50 Chris’s Dream, 3.25 Coole Craft, 3.55 Monbeg Chit Chat, 4.30 Inch Rise, 5.00 Augustin.
TAUNTON: 2.10 Irish Prince, 2.40 Chilli Filli, 3.10 Hey Bill, 3.45 Unison, 4.15 Bajardo, 4.50 Staunton.
WETHERBY: 2.00 Hartside, 2.30 Massini’s Lady, 3.00 Rosmuc Relay, 3.35 Caraline, 4.05 Cowslip, 4.40 Milly Baloo, 5.10 Maebh.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.40 Compatriot, 6.10 Dor’s Law, 6.40 DESERT WIND (NAP), 7.10 Something Lucky, 7.40 Regina Nostra, 8.10 Sweet Symphony, 8.40 Zefferino.
DOUBLE: Desert Wind and Regina Nostra.