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Barron horse can sprint to victory in Thirsk feature
NORTH YORKSHIRE sprinter Hitchens, who enjoyed a lucrative winter in Dubai, can capture the showpiece event at Chester tomorrow.
Trained at Maunby near Thirsk by David Barron, the seven-year-old contests the M&S Bank Queensferry Stakes and has the class to defy top weight.
Winner of a Group 3 race at Meydan during his Dubai stint, which also saw him notch several creditable placed efforts, Hitchens has had one outing since returning home, a fine fourth-placed effort, beaten only a length, in Group 3 company at the Curragh, won by the Kevin Ryan-trained Tiddliwinks.
Hitchens faces some speedy rivals in this six furlong Listed test, including Van Ellis, recent winner of York’s Sky Bet Dash.
But Mark Johnston’s smart performer has been drawn wide on this occasion and Hitchens is napped to come out on top.
The British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing Conditions Stakes is a fascinating race.
Seven runners face the starter and all seven are previous winners.
Four of them are trained in North Yorkshire, Flyman and Diggory Delvet, both trained by Richard Fahey, Luck, trained by Kevin Ryan, and like the other two a winner on his debut, and Tickle Time, trained by David Barron.
Of the four, Flyman is narrowly preferred. He was a winner at York over an inadequate five furlongs.
This six furlongs will suit him much better and he is tentatively selected to have the measure of Hamilton winner Luck, as well as course winner Odooj and Roger Varian’s Asaadd, impressive at Windsor last time.
Middleham trainer Mark Johnston has enjoyed a week to remember at Goodwood and Elkhart can add to his tally at Chester in the M&S Bank Handicap.
A narrow winner at Newmarket last time out, the three-year-old can follow up.
Also worth noting are Tom Dascombe’s well-weighted Dream Maker in the Liverpool One Nursery and Sir Michael Stoute’s Grandiloquent, a Newcastle winner last time out, in the New Fashioned Banking Handicap.
Newbury could be rocking with a win for Her Majesty the Queen in the feature race.
The £33,000 British Stallion Studs Chalaice Stakes is the target for Set The Music, trained by Michael Bell and a talented performer in the royal colours.
Winner of the Galtres Stakes at York last August, Set To Music has thrived this season and has won the Warwickshire Oaks and finished third in the classier Lancashire version, won by Great Heavens, who has since franked that form by bolting up in the Irish Oaks.
Hayley Turner rides Set To Music, who is capable of lifting this Listed prize.
Robert Eddery has wisely elected to step up Front Page News to seven furlongs in the Grundon Recyle Nursery and the juvenile is fancied to chalk up his second win from four starts.
A Windsor winner two starts back, Front Page News has since finished sixth in a nursery at Ascot, both over six furlongs. This extra distance should suit him better.
The speedy O’Gorman, previously with Kevin Ryan and now with Gary Brown, can land the Bathwick Tyres Handicap over five furlongs, while in the AJC Premier Fillies’ Handicap, Bountiful Girl bids to complete a quick double after scoring for Richard Fahey and owner David Barker at Carlisle last Sunday.
Freddie Tylicki again has the mount on the three-year-old, who has a 6lb penalty to overcome.
2.00 Dream Maker, 2.30 Black Monk, 3.05 Hitchens (NAP), 3.40 My Kingdom, 4.10 Flyman, 4.45 Grandiloquent, 5.15 Elkhart.
Today’s other meetings : Market Rasen.
1.40 Entrance, 2.10 James Pollard, 2.40 Amralah, 3.15 Al Zein, 3.50 Front Page News, 4.20 Set To Music, 4.55 O’Gorman, 5.25 Bountiful Girl.
Tomorrow’s other meetings : Goodwood, Newmarket, Thirsk, Doncaster, Newton Abbot, Hamilton, Lingfield.