Anybody noticing that Alan King and Graham Lee are joining forces tomorrow might be tempted to think of a hurdle or a chase.
But the top jumps trainer, who has a handful of Flat horses, has booked Lee, now a top-flight Flat jockey after a wonderful career over jumps, for Ishikawa at Wolverhampton’s Flat all-weather evening meeting.
Grand National-winning jockey Lee, whose maiden campaign on the level last year remarkably yielded 100 winners, is already up and running this time around and was successful on this course last Friday night.
He has never ridden Ishikawa before but he will looking forward to the ride on a horse who ended last year with a Lingfield win and began 2013 with another course victory.
The five-year-old also scored on this course in April last year, so Wolverhampton is unlikely to hold any fears for him. The Hotel And Conferencing At Wolverhampton Handicap looks another good opportunity and Ishikawa is fancied to strike for King and Lee.
The nap vote is confidently awarded to Guards Chapel in the Stay At The Wolverhampton Holiday Inn Handicap.
Trained by the shrewd Gary Moore, the gelding won easily at Kempton last week, a victory which came after a Lingfield win in December. A 6lb penalty hardly looks enough to prevent Guards Chapel from completing a hat-trick under the cool George Baker.
Sommersturm won on this course last weekend and a follow up looks on the cards in the opening Name A Race To Enhance Your Brand Apprentice Handicap.
Eoin Walsh, who has rattled up half a dozen winners in the couple of months he has been with trainer David Evans, after previously being based in Ireland, again has the mount on Sommersturm.
Tim Vaughan is better known as a trainer of jumpers, he looks likely to figure on the Flat scoresheet with Ifan in the Horizons Restaurant Maiden Stakes.
Although the five-year-old has proved an expensive horse to follow, having been placed several times without getting his head in front, he boasts fairly solid form in the context of this weak looking contest. He will be partnered by Daniel Muscutt, a promising apprentice attached to the Andrew Balding yard.
Angelina Ballerina, placed here and at Kempton this season, is overdue a winning turn.
The Joe Wright Memorial Handicap may provide that opportunity with York-based jockey Robert Winston booked to do the steering.
At this afternoon’s Ludlow meeting, Giveitachance can make the most of his light weight in the Bet At corbettsports.com Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.
Claire Dyson’s gelding has already enjoyed a successful campaign, winning at Worcester, Wincanton and, most recently, at Doncaster.
He deserves this step up in class and is fancied to oblige once more in the hands of Nick Scholfield, who is enjoying such a memorable season.
The three-runner Corbett Sports Novices’ Handicap Chase is a trickly little race, but Arthur’s Pass, twice a winner at Leicester this winter, just gets the vote for Tom George and Paddy Brennan.
Also worth noting are Who’s Cross (2.00), now with Nicky Henderson and the mount of Malton-born Andrew Tinkler, and The Chazer (3.30), a faller at Haydock recently but previously a clever winner at Doncaster under a waiting ride from Denis O’Regan. Jamie Moore takes over the reins this time.
2.00 Who’s Cross, 2.30 Arthur’s Pass, 3.00 Floral Spinner 3.30 The Chazer, 4.00 Giveitachance, 4.30 Island Life, 5.00 Flash Crash.
Today’s other meetings: Kempton, Taunton and Southwell.
5.40 Sommersturm, 6.10 Windforpower, 6.40 Black Truffle, 7.10 Ifan, 7.40 Ishikawa, 8.10 Guards Chapel (NAP), 8.40 Angelena Ballerina.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Doncaster, Lingfield and Newbury.