North Yorkshire trainer John Quinn plots conquest with Cockney Sparrow

First published in Sport

North Yorkshire trainer John Quinn, a dab hand at switching Flat horses to hurdles, can prove the point again at Doncaster this afternoon.

Quinn, who earler this week at Wetherby produced Hidden Justice to make a hugely impressive hurdling debut, can hit the mark today with Cockney Sparrow on her second attempt over obstacles.

The three-year-old shaped with distinct promise at Aintree earlier this month on her hurdling bow, finishing second to L’Unique, a performance which suggested she would not be long in getting off the mark in her new role.

Formerly trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam and a filly with a Flat rating of 80, Cockney Sparrow runs in the Help For Heroes Christmas Single Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle. She promises to be hard to beat for Quinn on a course where he recently won a Grade 2 race with Kashmir Peak, another new recruit to jumping, who is two-from-two over hurdles and is among the most talented juveniles we have seen this season.

Brian Ellison is another Norton-based trainer with good prospects of getting on the Town Moor scoreboard. He saddles Stormy Weather in the bluesq.com Novices’ Chase and Danny Cook’s mount should go well.

An easy winner on his chasing debut over two miles at Wetherby, Stormy Weather has since finished third on the same course over two miles and five furlongs, which seemed to seemed to find him out.

Ellison has brought him back to the shorter distance and, although he faces some stern opposition, a good run is anticpated from this versatile grey, previously successful on the Flat and over hurdles.

Denis O’Regan, whose talented mount Pere Blanc, coming back from a long absence, threatens to be a danger to Stormy Weather, has a particularly interesting ride in the opening crownhotel-bawtry.com Novices’ Hurdle aboard Red Devil Boys.

John Ferguson’s charge looked a smart horse in the making when winning a bumper on this course earlier this month, barely breaking sweat to score by 11 lengths. This is his hurdling debut in what looks a strong event, but he merits respect.

If the confidence of Tim Walford’s Zefooha is none the worse for a fall on this course four weeks ago. she should appreciate the drop back in trip in the Mollart Cox Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, while in the featured Blue Square Bet Handicap Chase Handtheprizeover, who made a winning reappearance at Wincanton after more than a year off, may be capable of further improvement and handling this step up in class.

With tomorrow’s Haydock meeting under threat and subject to a 2pm course inspection today, it may be safer to preview tomorrow’s all-weather Flat card at Lingfield, where the evergreen Webbow deserves to win.

The North Yorkshire gelding, who will celebrate his 12th birthday next week, has finished a good second at Kempton on his last two starts, both times over seven furlongs. He steps up a mile in the featured 32Red Handicap and should go well for Julie Camacho and George Baker.

The nap vote is awarded to Foxtrot Jubilee in the 32Red.com Nursery.

Ralph Beckett’s juvenile made a winning debut at Kempton and is now into handicap company. He is running off a mark of 79 and he promises to score again for Jim Crowley. Stablemate Fortinbras, the mount of Seb Sanders, may provide Beckett with a one-two.


Racing selections

Doncaster today
12.05 Red Devil Boys, 12.40 Cockney Sparrow, 1.15 Stormy Weather, 1.50 Zefooha, 2.25 Corkage, 2.55 Handtheprizeover, 3.25 Crystal Swing.

Today’s other meetings: Kelso and Wolverhampton.

Lingfield tomorrow
12.00 Arley Hall, 12.30 Foxtrot Jubilee (NAP), 1.00 Beat The Bell, 1.35 Golden Share, 2.10 Webbow, 2.45 Miss Blakeney, 3.20 Kaylee, 3.50 Jackie Love.

Tomorrow’s meetings: Haydock, Newbury and Taunton.

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