Jockey Robert Winston in need of purple patch to reach century of wins by New Year’s Eve

York Press: Robert Winston, pictured in action, needs to get his skates on if he is to record 100  winners in 2013 Robert Winston, pictured in action, needs to get his skates on if he is to record 100 winners in 2013

YORK-based jockey Robert Winston is leaving it late if he is to record the fifth century of his career before the year is out.

Winston has enjoyed another good campaign, but he is six winners shy of his ton and will need to enjoy a purple patch if he is to reach 100 by New Year’s Eve.

Every winner counts and Pensax Lad could be another for Winston in the 32Red.com Nursery at Southwell this afternoon.

Trained by Ron Harris, the juvenile has taken time to settle down to racing and he resumed winning ways on this course recently with a smooth performance with Winston in the saddle. This looks a tougher test, but the extra furlong will suit him and a 6lb penalty may not be enough to halt his progress.

Nap selection Quadriga should be good enough to land the Ladbrokes Classified Stakes.

Robert Eddery’s youngster won a similar race at Wolverhampton last month and has since run well in defeat on that course and at Lingfield.

Anyone who saw Big Kenny win at Wolverhampton last week may not be in a hurry to oppose him in the 32Red Casino Nursery Handicap.

David Evans’ two-year-old won with something to spare on his latest start which was his first outing since being gelded. Eoin Walsh takes the mount this time and his 7lb allowance erases the penalty Big Kenny is set to carry for his Wolverhampton triumph.

Khajaaly (12.10), trained by the in-form Mick Appleby and James Given’s Returntobrecongill (3.20), beaten only a neck on his latest start, are two others to note.

There is some classy jumping action at Ascot, where Volnay De Thaix is strongly fancied to lift the Grade 2 Mitie Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle.

Previously the winner of one of his two races in France, Volnay De Thaix looks a very smart recruit to Nicky Henderson's Lambourn yard after easy successes at Kempton and Newbury.

This race represents a step up in class, but Volnay De Thaix looks a horse with a big future and he is taken to continue his upward spiral.

In the Betfred Novices’ Chase, also a Grade 2 contest, Raya Star could well hold the key.

Alan King’s charge, formerly a smart hurdler, won over fences on his chasing debut at Uttoxeter and has since chased home the high-class Dodging Bullets at Cheltenham.

This stiffer test of stamina should suit him on a course where he has won in the past.

Tony McCoy is riding at the peak of his powers and Rio De Sivola could be another winner for the legendary jockey in the Shooting Star Chase Novices’ Handicap Chase.

Only a four-year-old, Nick Williams’ French recruit won by eight lengths at Warwick by making all the running.

He is 8lb higher now, but appeals as a horse on the upgrade as a chaser.

The useful-looking Carningli can also score for McCoy in the RARC 15th Year Celebration National Hunt Flat Race.

Winner of his first two starts, the Rebecca Curtis-trained four-year-old won his first two races and lost no caste in defeat when runner-up to the highly-regarded and unbeaten Red Sherlock at Cheltenham last month.


Racing selections

Ascot today 1.00 Royal Boy, 1.30 Rio De Sivola, 2.00 Volnay De Thaix, 2.35 Raya Star, 3.10 Joanne One, 3.40 Carningli.

Southwell today 12.10 Khajaaly, 12.40 Quadriga (NAP), 1.10 Tears Of The Sun, 1.40 Big Kenny, 2.10 Pensax Lad, 2.45 Fortinbrass, 3.20 Returntobrecongill.

Today’s other meetings: Uttoxeter and Wolverhampton.

Tomorrow’s meetings: Ascot, Haydock, Lingfield and Newcastle.

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