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Gull Rock getting act together to complete hat-trick at Bath racecourse
Gull Rock, who has struck form with a vengeance lately, can complete a hat-trick of wins at Bath tomorrow.
The Henry Candy-trained filly has run only four times in her life, but she has won her last two races, at Leicester and Folkestone, in a style which suggests she is really beginning to get her act together as a sprinter.
The Go Live Events Handicap is the latest target for Gull Rock and, with Dane O’Neill in the saddle, she is fancied to deliver yet again.
Henry Candy, trainer of Gull Rock, can also win the second leg of the same race with Dream Catcher, the mount of stable apprentice Amy Scott.
The four-year-old, winner of a couple of races earlier in the season, was beaten less than two lengths by Efistorm at Goodwood last time and may not have to improve much on that effort to resume winning ways here.
John Gosden, whose Nathaniel is the main danger to Frankel in today’s Champion Stakes at Ascot, will be chasing much smaller fry tomorrow, but the Newmarket handler, in pole position to be champion trainer this season, looks likely to figure among the winners.
Gosden can score with the lightly-raced Merry Jaunt (2.30) and Maria Letizia (3.05), two fillies still seeking their first wins but both able to boast some potential at an ordinary level. Stable jockey William Buick rides.
Leicester winner Villa Royale (2.00) and nap selection Jawim (5.15), who came close to her first win on this course three weeks ago, also make appeal on this seven-race card.
Over the jumps at Kempton, the £15,500 William Hill Hurdle takes pride of place, with Paul Nicholls looking good to repeat his success of 12 months ago with Pepe Simon. This time Nicholls relies on Brampour, who is reunited with regular pilot Harry Derham as he makes his first appearance of the campaign.
A horse who goes well fresh, Brampour won his first two races last season and wound up by finishing a creditable seventh to stable-mate Rock On Ruby in the Champion Hurdle. He has the class to prevail.
Nicholls, whose powerful team is beginning to swing into top gear, has other winning chances on the card, not least with Sky Watch in the williamhill.com ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle.
The five-year-old, a son of Fleminsfirth, won his only start last season, a bumper at Sandown, and appeals as the type to make a name for himself as a hurdler.
In the williamhill.com Home Of Betting Novices’ Hurdle, in which Nicholls is represented by the former Richard Fahey-trained Polar Kite, once a useful handicapper on the Flat, the vote goes to Roberto Pegasus, another newcomer to the hurdling ranks, trained by Alan King.
The six-year-old was an 85-rated Flat horse and a winner at Goodwood in June. He could make the grade in his new discipline.
Also worth noting are the hat-trick-seeking Fisher (2.15), who represents crack Irish trainer Gordon Elliott, and the in-form Tim The Chair (3.50), trained by Emma Lavelle.
1.30 Sand And Deliver, 2.00 Villa Royale, 2.30 Merry Jaunt, 3.05 Maria Letizia, 3.35 French Press, 4.10 Gull Rock, 4.40 Dream Catcher, 5.15 Jawim (NAP).
2.15 Fisher, 2.45 My Brother Sylvest, 3.20 Roberto Pegasus, 3.50 Tim The Chair, 4.25 Brampour, 4.55 Kikos, 5.30 Sky Watch.
Today’s meetings: Ascot, Catterick, Cheltenham, Kelso and Wolverhampton.