Irish trainer Gordon Elliott, perhaps better known for his jumpers than his Flat horses, significantly sends Silverlord to Wolverhampton this afternoon in search of a winning opportunity.
Elliott is a supremely versatile handler. From his base at Trim in County Meath, he has sent out a 2007 Grand National winner in Silver Birch and an Ebor Handicap victor in Dirar three years later, so nobody should understimate his training ability under either code on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Nap selection Silverlord comes into battle on the back of a win. On his latest outing, he overcome trouble in running to win narrowly at Dundalk, Ireland’s only all-weather course.
He now lines up for the Follow Us On Twitter @wolvesRaces Handicap. It won’t be easy against the likes of Honest Deal and the Richard Fahey-trained Badea, two horses with course-winning form, but Silverlord has plenty going for him and Elliott has booked the services of Graham Lee to take the mount.
York-based jockey Robert Winston is continuing to fire in the winners and he looks set for success on Infortual in the ‘John Truscott And Friends’ Annual Day Maiden Stakes.
Trained by Charlie Hills, the three-year-old was backed down to favourite on his debut earlier this year at Lingfield, but he had to settle for third place after looking green and failing to get the run of the race.
Infortual has a long absence to overcome – his Lingfield run was in February – but, provided he is fit enough to do himself justice, he should take plenty of beating in a modest-looking race.
Restaurateur (4.00) and Warfare (4.30), two horses with previous course-winning form, are also worthy of considertion on today’s card.
At Southwell tomorrow, Lee could again be the jockey to follow.
The former top jumps pilot has made an extraordinary transititon to the Flat this year and has even earned himself a nomination in the Flat Jockey of the Year award at the forthcoming Horserace Writers and Photographers’ Derby Lunch in London next month.
Lee has prospects of a treble at Southwell, courtesy of Captain Royale, Mandy The Nag and No Dominion in the 32Red Handicap.
Trained by James Given, who has struck up a good rapport with Lee, No Dominion has won on his last two visits to this course. He scored off marks of 56 and 61 and now bids to defy a rating of 67 – his toughest challenge to date. But he is a progressive handicapper and is fancied to remain one step ahead by completing a hat-trick of wins and landing the nap vote.
Captain Royale has yet to get his head in front in eight starts on the all-weather, which is a little disconcerting regarding his chances in the 32Red.com Handicap. But the Tracy Waggott-trained gelding finished a decent second to Prince James on heavy ground at Redcar.
2.00 Rakticate, 2.30 Claude Greenwood, 3.00 Infortual, 3.30 Light From Mars, 4.00 Restaurateur, 4.30 Warfare, 5.00 Eastern Magic, 5.30 Silverlord (NAP).
12.20 Five Hearts, 12.50 Captain Royale, 1.20 Kicken Off, 1.50 Mandy The Nag, 2.20 Seemenomore, 2.50 Sunnyside Tom, 3.20 No Dominion (NAP), 3.50 Destiny Awaits.
Today’s other meetings: Leicester and Plumpton.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Fakenham and Folkestone.