Turf Talk: Daira Prince aims to strike gold in Nottingham

Trainer Roger Varian. PIC: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Trainer Roger Varian. PIC: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
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Daira Prince can strike Nottingham gold for the second time this month in the Watch Racing UK On BT TV Handicap.

Roger Varian’s charge won at Yarmouth and Leicester last season and also ran creditably in defeat on a couple of occasions.

He failed to fire on his final appearance of 2017 in the Silver Cambridgeshire at Newmarket, however, and was subsequently gelded.

The lightly-raced four-year-old was fitted with blinkers on his return from an eight-month absence over this course and distance three weeks ago and appeared an improved performer as he saw off the in-form Lamloom with something to spare.

The handicapper has had his say, raising Daira Prince 6lb, but with only eight runs under his belt he is very much unexposed and he looks sure to go well in this £22,000 feature.

Autumn Leaves is an interesting contender for the British Stallion Studs EBF totequadpot Fillies’ Handicap.

The daughter of Helmet filled the runner-up spot on her first two juvenile starts last season before making it third time lucky when justifying odds-on favouritism at Salisbury in August.

The runner-up and the fourth home from her maiden victory have both won since to give the form some credence and Autumn Leaves makes her handicap debut and long-awaited return off what appears to be a very workable mark of 78.

Elerfaan ran a screamer of a race to finish second when a 66-1 shot for his Wetherby debut last month and can go one better at Beverley.

The well-bred son of Shamardal was bought for just £5,000 by his current connections last November, having never run during a spell with Varian.

Now with Rebecca Bastiman, he made his belated introduction in West Yorkshire and shaped with huge promise to fill the runner-up spot.

He must concede weight to eight younger rivals in the Skidby Confined Novice Stakes, but should prove up to the task.

The Richard Fahey-trained Militia rates the best bet at Ripon’s evening fixture.

After placing in three of his four starts last term, the three-year-old was not winning out of turn when making a successful return at Thirsk three weeks ago.

He assessor left him unchanged on a mark of 78 as he enters the handicap arena for the first time in the Ripon Farm Services Handicap and that might prove a shade generous.

My Renaissance can win at Cartmel for the second time in the Champagne Louis Roederer Handicap Chase.

The eight-year-old won over hurdles Cumbria circuit this time last year and returns in fine form following an impressive all-the-way success at Sedgefield just a couple of weeks ago.

Bandsman absolutely bolted up on his fencing bow at Kempton earlier in the month and can maintain his unbeaten record over larger obstacles in the Watch Racing UK On Virgin 536 Novices’ Chase at Warwick.


BEVERLEY: 1.30 Bottleared, 2.00 Arnold, 2.30 Moonlit Sands, 3.00 Relight My Fire, 3.30 Vive La Difference, 4.00 Metronomic, 4.30 Elerfaan (treble), 5.00 Amadeus.

NOTTINGHAM: 2.20 Capla Rock, 2.50 Pulsating, 3.20 Autumn Leaves (next best), 3.50 DAIRA PRINCE (NAP), 4.20 Channel Packet, 4.50 Quantatmental, 5.25 Sarabi.

RIPON: 6.35 Smile a Mile, 7.05 Gabrials Centurion, 7.40 Militia, 8.10 Sandra’s Secret, 8.40 Northwest Frontier, 9.10 M C Muldoon.

WARWICK: 5.05 Mick Maestro, 5.40 Bandsman, 6.10 Champ, 6.45 Included, 7.15 Chase Me, 7.50 Royalraise, 8.20 Crown Hill.