YORK-BASED jockey Robert Winston sidesteps Southwell today to travel to Kempton for a useful book of mounts, which could well see him in the hotseat aboard three winners.
Winston kicks off with the rosy prospect of being reunited with nap selection Hill Of Dreams in the opening Family Fun At Kempton 19.04.14 Handicap.
Winston won on Dean Ivory’s charge in a similar race at this venue last week and, given that they scored by a handsome margin on that occasion, a 6lb penalty may not prevent Hill Of Dreams from completing a quick-fire double.
Winston looks to have another particularly useful ally in Swift Blade in the Betdaq - The Sports Betting Exchange Handicap.
Veteran trainer Lady Herries has placed Swift Blade to win both his races this year, an amateur riders’ event at Lingfield under Simon Walker and a handicap here in which Winston got him home by a whisker. The gelding has been raised 4lb by the handicapper for his latest success and promises to be competitive again in this mile-and-a-half contest.
Winston can complete a useful days work on Time Medicean in the New Jumps Fixture 05.05.14 Handicap, which closes the card.
The sprinter gained a pretty slick success over this course and distance on his latest start with Winston in the saddle.
At Southwell, Jacob Butterfield can continue his excellent run of success aboard Lean On Pete in the Coral Handicap, which opens the card.
Butterfield rode Magnolia Ridge to win for Kristin Stubbs at Doncaster on Saturday, a victory which followed-up a double on this course a fortnight ago, which included a win on Lean On Pete, who scored by just over a length.
The five-year-old is in good heart and, off only a 4lb higher mark, he ought to go well again.
Alumina has been expertly placed by her Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding to win five races on the spin in the last couple of months. The three-year-old’s latest successs came over this course and distance last week when she bolted home by no less than seven lengths.
The opposition to Alumina looks tougher in this afternoon’s 32Red Thunderstruck II Slot Handicap, plus she has a 6lb penalty. But she is in unstoppable form at present and capable apprentice Jack Garritty, who steered her to victory last week, is again in the saddle. She promises to be tough to beat.
Oisin Murphy, who is also attached to the Balding stable, and who is odds-on favourite to be champion apprentice this year, can also figure on the Southwell scoresheet.
This crack rider, who made a huge impression last year when riding a four-timer which included the Ayr Gold Cup at Ayr in September, has been booked by Tony Newcombe to ride Chapellerie in the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap and the hint should be taken.
The five-year-old finished second at Lingfield in February, which was her first outing since July 2012. If she can build on that performance, she will have a major say in proceedings.
Murphy has also been snapped up by Middleham trainer John Weymes to ride Just Five in the Ladbrokes Handicap.
The tough eight-year-old got home narrowly in a driving finish at Wolverhampton last week when ridden by 5lb claimer Connor Beasley. He is fancied to oblige over a course and distance where he has scored in the past.
2.00 Lean On Pete, 2.30 Meebo, 3.00 Layla’s Hero, 3.30 Alumina, 4.00 Kinscombe, 4.30 Chapellerie, 5.00 Just Five.
2.20 Hill Of Dreams (NAP), 2.50 Bustopher, 3.20 Welsh Sunrise, 3.50 Economy, 4.20 Swift Blade, 4.50 Captain Mo, 5.20 Time Medicean.
Today’s other meeting: Newton Abbot.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Kempton, Lingfield, Southwell and Wincanton.