Mackay sweet on November Cape

View from the connections ahead of the Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday.

Nicky Mackay is keen on the chances of Cape Cova

Nicky Mackay would not swap his ride on Cape Cova for anything else in the Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday.

The Newmarket-based jockey is reunited with the John Gosden-trained three-year-old in the mile-and-a-half contest having finished fourth on him on his penultimate start at York.

Although the son of Cape Cross is dropping down in trip, having claimed an extended mile and three-quarters event on his last start at the Yorkshire track – his third win of the campaign and second on Town Moor – the 31-year-old rider expects him to be equally as effective over this shorter trip.

Mackay said: "I rode Cape Cova on his penultimate start. It was his first time in a big field and he was slow away. I was kicking myself after the race as he jumped slowly and they didn't go fast.

"He is a big horse and I got further back than I wanted and that didn't suit him. When they quickened up he made up a lot of ground.

"He seems a progressive horse that just keeps finding more. As he is being dropped back to a mile and a half I would like to ride him handy, but it all depends how he jumps out.

"There are plenty of runners so they should go a nice gallop. If they go a proper gallop and it is a fairly run race he would be hard to beat. There are no real negatives and I wouldn't swap him for anything.

"It has been a funny couple of years for me, but this is a good ride to pick up for Mr Gosden and it would be nice to finish the turf season on a high."

Joseph Tuite on Litigant "I'm very happy with the horse and I could not be happier. He has got a lovely draw in three, so all we would like is the rain. He is only 4lb higher and he was not stopping last year, so that shouldn't be a problem."
Joseph Tuite on Litigant

Joseph Tuite is keeping his fingers crossed that enough rain falls to allow top weight Litigant the chance to follow up last year's four-and-a-half-length win in the end-of-season highlight.

Since that success the eight-year-old has been restricted to just two starts, the most recent coming in a Group One in France at Saint-Cloud at the end of last month.

Tuite said: "We are going to give it another go, but we just hope a little bit of rain comes in. I'm very happy with the horse and I could not be happier. This is the only race suitable for him as there is nothing else left to go for.

"He has got a lovely draw in three, so all we would like is the rain. He is only 4lb higher than last year and he was not stopping last year, so that shouldn't be a problem. It looks a hotter race than last year as I don't think there was a lot of strength and depth last year.

"I think he ran well at Ascot and in France, he was only beaten under six lengths in both races, but I think we needed to lower his sights and this is more realistic.

Having found only Litigant too good 12 months ago the Declan Carroll-trained Buonarroti returns for a second shot as he looks for a second win this campaign having scored in the soft at Ayr in July.

Carroll said: "The horse is in brilliant order and is ready to run a good race. This has been the long-term plan all season and he is going there in tip-top condition. I just hope they get the rain.

"If they do he will give a very good account of himself. He is a different horse when there is juice in the ground.

"We don't have a good draw in 23, but he is a horse that needs to be held up so that shouldn't inconvenience us too much. Our concern is not the draw, but the ground."

Andrew Balding is another trainer that hopes the rain arrives in time to allow Montaly to show the best of his abilities on what will be both a drop down in class and trip for the five-year-old.

He said: "The trip is a bit on the sharp side, but if they get a little bit of rain it would be a huge advantage.

"He has had an unlucky season. He has run some good races without having the conditions to suit. He is a good horse and hopefully he will be competitive.

"He will be staying on at the end and the draw in 10 is fine. He was not quite up to that class in the Prix Royal Oak. We wanted to run him in the Cesarewitch, but the ground was too fast and this is very much Plan C."

Andrew Balding on Montaly "He will be staying on at the end and the draw in 10 is fine. He was not quite up to that class in the Prix Royal Oak. We wanted to run him in the Cesarewitch, but the ground was too fast and this is very much Plan C."
Andrew Balding on Montaly

Michael Bell is hoping Fabricate can carry the royal silks to glory by making good use of his draw in stall one to follow up his recent win at Leicester

The Newmarket handler said: "He's got an excellent draw (one).

"I just hope the ground is not riding too quick – more good than good to firm, hopefully. It's unusual at this time of year. He just wants nice ground.

"The horse is very well and is in good form coming off the back of a win and he'll be there or thereabouts, I'd say."

Hughie Morrison will be monitoring the weather closely before making a decision over the participation off Not So Sleepy, who is seeking a first win since last year's Dee Stakes at Chester.

He said: "He will go to Doncaster if the rain arrives as there is no point running him on good to firm ground.

"He is in good form and if it was soft ground I would be very bullish about his chances. He ran a great race the other day. He ran on well and settled for the first time."

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