Team retain faith for Chelsea Lad
View from connections ahead of Thursday’s Betfred TV Hambleton Handicap at York.
Martyn Meade expects Chelsea Lad to show his true potential in Thursday’s Betfred TV Hambleton Handicap at York.
With the soft conditions and the draw in stall one in Chelsea Lad’s favour, Meade is anticipating a big run from the four-year-old in the Listed prize as he bids to bounce back from pulling up when favourite for last month’s Spring Cup at Newbury.
Meade said: “Something happened in the stalls at Newbury. Ryan (Moore) heard a noise, he wasn’t sure if a shoe came off another horse and hit him, but he took the safety first option and pulled him up.
“He was completely sound after the race, it’s just one of those little mysteries, we’ll never know what happened.
“The good thing is he’ll have his ground, as we know he operates really well on soft.
“He’s got a great draw and if he reproduces last season’s form, he must go well.
“I’m still really excited about him.”
Connections of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Thikriyaat hope he can bounce back to the sort of form that saw him capture a Group Three at Goodwood last July after finishing last in the Celebration Mile on his final start last term.
Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “He is coming back after a good, long lay off.
“He started off last year in great form then he ran very disappointingly when we supplemented him for the Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
“We checked him over after that and we could not find much. There was talk of a possible heart murmur, but nothing really showed when we checked his heart out
“Richard Hills rode work on him the other day and said that he went OK. He is a light-framed horse and he has been given a nice break.
“Sir Michael Stoute feels he is ready to run, but I would just like to have seen him going better before getting too excited.”
Robert Eddery feels Donncha will be well suited by the give underfoot in the extended seven-furlong event as he looks to finally land the valuable pot he has long threatened to claim.
He said: “Donncha seems fine. He didn’t run on Saturday because he was a bit lame, but we have checked him over and he seems fine.
“He will love the ground and is drawn well. I just hope he gets a change of luck. He is an honest horse and he really does deserve to win a big one.
“He seems 100 per cent and he looked good on Wednesday morning on the gallops. Everything is looking good.
“The ground was a bit firm at Newbury and Andrea (Atzeni) reported that when he asked him to pick up, he just got caught flat footed for about half a furlong.
“At the end of the day, it was a good run and he was only beaten two lengths and the form of the race has worked out well.”
Trainer Andrew Balding reports seven-year-old Here Comes When, one of two runners for owners Jim and Fitri Hay alongside the David Simcock-trained Can’t Change It, to be in good order.
Balding said: “He will relish any more rain that falls and he is in great form. He usually runs well fresh and he is still full of enthusiasm. He is on about the right mark now.”
Cote d’Azur will bid to give trainer Les Eyre a second notable prize this season after capturing the Thirsk Hunt Cup on his most recent start.
Eyre said: “Winning the Thirsk Hunt Cup was always one of my dreams, so to do it was just fabulous.
“He’s come out of the race in grand form and we’re happy with him. We’d like to run him in the John Smith’s Cup eventually, but this looks well worth a go.”
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