Champion Jockey Richard Hughes heads to Salisbury this afternoon with an excellent book of rides including the Richard Hannon trained pair of Divine Law and Grenade (2.25) that open the card with preference for the latter in maiden over six furlongs.
The son of Paco Boy is a half-brother to Forgive and Right Touch and the colt represents connections that thrive with their juveniles. Since taking the licence from his father Hannon Jr has had an incredible 26 2-y-o winners at a 32% strike-rate and should be able to add to that further this afternoon.
The combination of Hannon and Hughes will be fancied on Crystal Nymph in the fillies’ handicap after her course and distance win last month however Cascading (3.55) is worth another chance after disappointing on the same card when a beaten favourite for a course and distance maiden.
Prior to that run she had chased home subsequent Oaks 4th Inchila at Newbury and that combined with Hughie Morrison’s excellent record in the race (winning last year’s renewal with Lyric Ballad) warrants her a second glance.
Last time out winners Seagull and Hidden Gold represent leading connections however with two runs under her belt already Cascading should be fit and read and looks very well treated from her opening mark of 78 with Jimmy Fortune doing the steering.
Morrison and Fortune can celebrate a double with Fanzine (4.25) taken to go close in the mile and a half handicap. The Medicean filly ran an excellent race on her seasonal beau to chase home Kastini at Newbury, failing to collar the jolly old favourite in the closing stages. She should be able to make amends from just a 2lb higher mark.
AP McCoy rides at both Fontwell and Worcester with O’Callaghan Strand (6.35) looking his best ride at the latter, the dual course and distance winner visored for the first time visor. Despite the gelding winning just twice in the last two years both wins have come from marks of 111 and 112 respectively, with both successes have similarly come over two and a half miles. He looks well handicapped and well laid out for a race such as this and it would be no surprise to see him spring back to form with the help of the first time visor.
Nicky Henderson’s Spartan Angel (8.05) was well punted for a warm mares’ maiden hurdle here last month and despite only finishing fourth it was a warm contest and a drop in grade and step up in trip should see the mare in a much better light.
The William Haggas string remain in excellent form and the stable can enjoy further success with the Aqlaam filly Felwah (5.25) in this evening’s opener at Lingfield.
She finished fifth on debut at Goodwood on ground softer than ideal, tiring late on over seven furlongs but only beaten three lengths in what looks a warm maiden. She is entitled to come on for the run and with the experience under her belt and Nathan Allison taking off a very useful 5lb, she looks the one to beat.
Despite The Happy Hammer (5.55) enjoying the majority of his success at Lingfield on the all-weather the 8-y-o switches to the turf to take advantage of his 10lb better mark and should remain competitive.
His best form has admittedly come on the polytrack as seen by his creditable third last time out over the same trip and should be translate that form accordingly, would be very dangerous.
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