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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
11:03am Monday 5th May 2014 in Sport
Fashion Line has been set a couple of tough assignments on the all-weather in recent weeks and can make a winning return to turf action in the Bet toteexacta Fillies' Handicap at Windsor on a bumper Bank Holiday programme.
The daughter of Cape Cross looked a really exciting prospect when filling the runner-up spot on her Newmarket debut last June and is easily forgiven her odds-on reverse at Carlisle next time as she finished lame and was not seen again for the rest of the year.
She returned from a seven-month break to make it third-time lucky at Wolverhampton at the end of January and added to her gains at Dunstall Park a month later, dead heating with the far more experienced Sky Khan.
Michael Bell's filly ran with plenty of credit to finish fourth in the Lincoln Trial next time, again tackling horses with far more match practice than her, and deserved her place in the valuable Fillies' And Mares' Championships Conditions Stakes on Lingfield's big day on Good Friday.
Although she came up short, again finishing fourth, she was too keen to do herself justice back over seven furlongs and will undoubtedly be seen in a far better light over a strongly-run mile.
Her main rival at Windsor appears to be the hat-trick seeking Trixie Malone, who has been ridden aggressively when successful the last twice.
If that is the case again, it will suit Fashion Line ideally and she is expected to swoop late in the hands of Louis Steward.
Norway Cross absolutely bolted up at Pontefract late last season and can make a winning return in the 32Red Fillies' Handicap at Bath.
Luca Cumani's charge bumped into a pretty smart one in Empress Adelaide when runner-up on her Sandown introduction, so it was no surprise to see her sent off a hot favourite for her second appearance in West Yorkshire.
While there is little doubt her winning margin was exaggerated by the ultra-testing conditions, it was still difficult not to be impressed by the way she pulled nine lengths clear of her toiling rivals.
The form is sound enough, with the runner-up, Aalim, since winning at Wolverhampton and twice over hurdles.
The third home, Wannabe Your Man, also recently made a winning comeback at Nottingham.
While Norway Cross clearly revelled in the Pontefract mud, there is no reason to suspect she will not be at least effective on a sounder surface and she should prove hard to beat.
Lady Cecil has never had a runner at Beverley and her late husband Sir Henry Cecil did not saddle many, making the presence of Grasped on the Westwood of definite interest.
The daughter of Zamindar has made favourite backers sweat for their money on her first two starts, scoring by a head on her Lingfield bow in early December and a neck when long odds-on at the same track a month ago.
She moves onto the grass for the first time on a mark of 74 in the Peter Walford Memorial Handicap and it would be surprising if she is unable to progress beyond that rating in the coming weeks and months.
The Cecil team might also find the target at Warwick, where the Quantum Manufacturing Fillies' Handicap looks a good opportunity for Chantrea to get back on the winning trail.
The three-year-old was completely tailed off on her only appearance as a juvenile at Pontefract, but has fared far better since the turn of the year.
She showed a good attitude to get up on the line at Lingfield, despite showing obvious signs of inexperience, and she has been beaten just a head and half a length into second on her last two visits to the same track.
Chantrea remains on a mark off which she should be competitive and is another who might take her game to another level now switching to the turf, with the application of a visor also a plus.
Nicky Henderson has a formidable record at Kempton and his Nordic Quest looks banker material in the opening Family Fun Day At Kempton Novices' Hurdle, running under a penalty after sluicing in at Wincanton a few weeks ago.
Fuse Wire can prove an aptly-named winner of the IWEC Electrical Handicap Chase at Ffos Las.
BATH: 1.30 Thumper, 2.00 Belle Bayardo, 2.35 Opera Fan, 3.10 Norway Cross, 3.45 Sir Frank Morgan, 4.20 Alpine Mist, 4.55 Avocadeau.
BEVERLEY: 2.05 Free Entry, 2.40 Gold Club, 3.15 Grasped, 3.50 Woody Bay, 4.25 Fair Flutter, 5.00 Real Tigress, 5.30 Soul Artist.
CURRAGH: 2.00 The Great War, 2.30 Regal Power, 3.05 Shining Emerald, 3.40 Alvar, 4.15 Magician, 4.50 Henry Higgins, 5.25 Flying Jib, 5.55 Seas Of Wells.
DOWN ROYAL: 2.20 Odit, 2.55 Blaze Of Fire, 3.30 Guiding George, 4.05 Jansboy, 4.40 Raajih, 5.15 JKanesh, 5.45 Elle Belle.
FFOS LAS: 2.10 Gate Please, 2.45 Simply Charles, 3.20 Fuse Wire, 3.55 Lord Lir, 4.30 Solstice Son, 5.05 Prince Pippin, 5.35 Miss Mobot.
KEMPTON: 1.45 Nordic Quest, 2.15 Saint Roque, 2.50 Generous Helpings, 3.25 Caulfields Venture, 4.00 Rule Of Thumb, 4.35 Claret Cloak, 5.10 While You Wait.
WARWICK: 1.55 Clary, 2.30 Simply Magic, 3.05 Clear Focus, 3.40 Chantrea, 4.15 Scarlet Plum, 4.50 Munaaser, 5.25 Space Walker, 5.55 Gold Class.
WINDSOR: 2.25 Black Truffle, 3.00 Tidal's Baby, 3.35 Takreym, 4.10 FASHION LINE (NAP), 4.45 One Pekan, 5.20 Flemish School, 5.50 Captain Whoosh.
DOUBLE: Fashion Line and Grasped
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