Ivory: Librisa can rise to Challenge
Views from connections ahead of the totescoop6 Challenge Cup at Ascot on Saturday.
Librisa Breeze: Goes for a big Ascot handicap again
Dean Ivory is hoping his fortunes will turn for the better when Librisa Breeze returns to action in the #180,000 totescoop6 Challenge Cup at Ascot on Saturday.
The Radlett handler has had a quiet spell of late, but he reports the four-year-old to be in fine shape and has his fingers crossed his luck changes.
And Librisa Breeze returns to his favourite track, having won a valuable handicap over the course and distance in July and also finishing second in the Hunt Cup over a mile at the Royal meeting.
"He's in good form, he's been lightly-raced this year and he obviously likes Ascot," said Ivory.
"We're drawn on the stands side (in stall 16). I'm not sure about that. If they go into two groups it might not be the best of draws, like he had last time.
"He was drawn high in the Hunt Cup and had to come across. I also think the (John) Gosden horse (Remarkable) is the main danger, but he's in good nick.
"We could do with some rain between now and then. I think there is some coming on Saturday. That would be all for him.
"At York last time, he made up all his ground at the end, but it was too late. He was drawn wrong and you have to be a front-runner there. It's hard to come off the pace.
"It would be great if he won. We need a bit of luck. We haven't had a winner for a while."
Donncha takes his chance ahead of another crack at Ascot's Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day.
Trainer Robert Eddery gave Donncha, who was fourth in the Qipco-sponsored Balmoral Handicap last year, a break after was third to the ill-fated Franklin D in the Betfred Mile at Glorious Goodwood.
"The reason he's not run for a while is that I wanted to freshen him up," said Eddery.
"He will run at Ascot on Saturday and then head for the Balmoral Handicap a couple of weeks later.
"He's a tough, honest horse who is always very competitive. He would be one of the stars of our yard and is just a few pounds below being a Group horse.
"He always gives his all in these big handicaps and is so consistent. I feel there is one coming his way and it would be great if that were on Saturday or on Champions Day.
"He's very well in himself and has been working well."
Last year's winner Buckstay goes for a repeat performance for the Peter Chapple-Hyam stable on the back of a decent fourth place in the Group Two Park Stakes at Doncaster won by Breton Rock.
Growl, runner-up when favourite for the Ayr Gold Cup, attempts to go one better. His trainer Richard Fahey is also represented by the 2013 winner Heaven's Guest and Right Touch.
Firmament, whose progress this year has seen him go up the ratings from 85 to 106, heads David O'Meara's triple assault on this race. The Helmsley handler also calls on Watchable and Intisaab.
Dutch Law, who defeated Firmament over the course and distance four weeks ago for his third win from his last four starts, will try to maintain his improvement for trainer Hughie Morrison.
William Haggas has two strong contenders in London Mile Handicap Final scorer Afjaan and Squats, who has been running extremely well in this type of handicap without quite landing one.
Remarkable, one of only two three-year-olds in the line-up, has not raced since finishing fifth to Ribchester in the Jersey Stakes over the course and distance at the Royal meeting.
An international flavour is added to the contest in the shape Norwegian raider Coprah, trained by Cathrine Erichsen.
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