Ennistown gets the nod in a typically wide-open renewal of the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket.
Run over a stamina-sapping two and a quarter miles, the second leg of the autumn double is not for the faint-hearted.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that a host of National Hunt trainers features on the roll of honour.
Philip Hobbs and Nicky Henderson have hit the bullseye twice since the turn of the century and Alan King broke his duck with the returning Grumeti 12 months ago.
Martin Pipe struck gold with Heros Fatal in 2000 and Miss Fara a couple of years later and his son, David, fires a couple of bullets at this year’s renewal.
Starchitect, a high-class hurdler and impressive on the level at Salisbury when last seen, appears the Pond House handler’s number one hope, but stable companion Ennistown is of interest at much bigger odds. The six-year-old has plenty of Flat racing experience having raced 14 times for Godolphin and with five wins under the code. Ennistown has since enjoyed a fruitful spell over hurdles with John Ferguson before being sold and he got off the mark for his new connections in some style at Cartmel in August.
While on first glance there does not appear to be a lot of mileage in his mark of 100 as he returns to the Flat in the first time in almost two years, he is unexposed over marathon trips and the booking of Ryan Moore, who was surely not short of offers, suggests a big run is expected.
The feature event of the afternoon in terms of quality is the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes and it will be a brave man who backs against the hugely exciting Churchill.
Aidan O’Brien’s juvenile has won his last four starts and could not have been more impressive when stepped up to the highest level for the first time in last month’s National Stakes.
TURF TALK TIP
CHEPSTOW: 2.05 Above Board, 2.40 Lamanver Odyssey, 3.15 Hammersly Lake, 3.50 El Terremoto, 4.25 Who Dares Wins, 5.00 Southfield Vic, 5.35 Caspian Piper.
HEXHAM: 1.50 Mondlicht, 2.25 Dutch Canyon, 3.00 Champagne To Go, 3.35 Harleys Max, 4.05 Halcyon Days, 4.35 Patsys Castle, 5.10 Micklegate Run.
NEWCASTLE: 5.40 Omid, 6.10 San Quentin, 6.45 Nepeta, 7.15 Weather Front, 7.45 El Hombre, 8.15 Foxy Boy, 8.45 Isntshesomething, 9.15 Call Me Crockett.
NEWMARKET: 1.45 Spring Fling, 2.20 Muthmira, 2.55 LOCKHEED (NAP), 3.30 Churchill (next best), 4.10 Ennistown (treble), 4.45 Permian, 5.20 Abdon.
YORK: 2.00 Just Hiss, 2.35 Dolphin Vista, 3.10 Lost At Sea, 3.45 Hoof It, 4.20 Nancy Hart, 4.55 Flower Power, 5.30 Richie McCaw.