Our resident racing expert is eyeing up a trip of runners at Windsor this evening.
Richard Hughes has made a solid start to his first full season as a trainer with couple of turf winners in the last fortnight, and he has double prospects at Windsor this evening.
His CAPE DISCOVERY is bidding to follow up a recent course win in the 1m3f handicap (due off 8.00pm) and the lightly-raced four-year-old looks progressive enough to cope with a 4lb rise. That success came as a bit of a surprise (he returned at 20/1) as according to Hughes he was only just ready to run (so he should improve for it) and there were also concerns about him handling the track, which proved unfounded.
Hughes, writing in his Saturday Racing Post column, said the horse used to sweat a lot and was a poor feeder when he first joined the stable, but that he’d become a far more relaxed beast since being switched to a different box and was now “roaring his head off” for his breakfast every morning. Clearly, he’s now a far happier horse and that is showing on the racetrack.
Hughes has also done an excellent job with CULTURED KNIGHT and the colt can advertise the trainer’s talents further by winning the closing 5f handicap (8.30pm). The son of Compton Place got off the mark at Chelmsford in February before finishing second the last twice, including on turf at Salisbury last Thursday when beaten a head by a progressive sort in Dancing Star, with a near two-length gap back to the third.
He’s sure to go up a few pounds for that effort so it makes sense to turn him out again quickly off the same mark before being reassessed, and this looks a good opportunity to open his account on turf. Lightly-raced after just five starts, he could have an exciting summer ahead in sprint handicaps and especially as he seems equally effective over the minimum trip,
Shane Kelly is on both the Hughes runners this evening and the rider has a healthy strike rate of 21% (15-72) on all the stable runners for a £1 level-stakes profit of £6.41. The double pays £121.88 for a £10 stake at current Coral odds, which are Best Odds Guaranteed.
Mick Channon has his string in fine form and JULE IN THE CROWN, his sole runner at the Berkshire track, can be another winner for the stable in the novice fillies’ stakes for juveniles (6.30pm). She is one of just three fillies in the eight-runner field to have seen a racecourse and that experience should count for plenty. It was a fair effort too as she wasn’t beaten far into sixth in a good race at Ascot ten days ago, when racing a bit too freely in the early stages and then not being able to quicken when push came to shove.
She must have been showing plenty to at home as she holds a Group 1 entry at the Curragh later in the season and Channon, writing in a recent Stable Tour, still rates her very highly and has Royal Ascot in mind, most likely the Queen Mary. She’ll need to win this modest contest and her trainer is leaving nothing to chance by booking Silvestre De Sousa, who has an excellent record on the stable runners with a 20% strike rate (33-164) for a £1 level-stakes profit of £35.05 over the past five seasons.