Folkswood let down favourite-backers at Newmarket last month but should be given chance to redeem himself in the sportingbet.com Huxley Stakes on day two of the May Festival at Chester.
Hopes were high that the Godolphin runner could hit the Group Three mark in the Earl of Sefton Stakes as he arrived fit from winter action in Dubai, but he fell short against Steel Of Madrid.
Having won once at Meydan during the winter and finished second in a Group One event, William Buick was positive from the off aboard the four-year-old and looked fully in control coming into the final furlong.
However, Steel Of Madrid summoned up quite the finish and Folkswood had no reply, eventually finishing a half-length second with four lengths back to the third. It was still a good effort and stepping up to 10 furlongs in what is a tight event here, Folkswood should certainly be in the mix at the line.
Aidan O’Brien has dominated the MBNA Chester Vase Stakes in recent years, winning five of the last six renewals, and while he fields four of the eight runners here, Count Octave is taken to trump them all.
Trained by Andrew Balding, Count Octave is a half-brother to Treasure Beach and the fact he is a son of Frankel only adds to his bluechip pedigree.
Connections were clearly in no hurry with this colt, who made a late debut at Goodwood last October, chasing home fellow Classic hope Monarchs Glen and recent wide-margin Southwell winner Pealer in third. He then reappeared with a bloodless success in what was essentially a match race at Wolverhampton in March, defying his evident inexperience to win by only three lengths with the minimum of fuss.
Obviously Count Octave has much to find with some of the more established performers here, but the fact Balding has pitched him into this bodes well and there are no doubts about the trip as he is already a 12-furlong winner.
TURF TALK TIPS
CARLISLE: 5.50 Arabian Oasis, 6.20 Our Three Sons, 6.50 , 7.20 Mackie Dee, 7.50 , 8.20 Heaven Scent, 8.50
CATTERICK: 2.05 Izzy Bizu, 2.35 San Quentin, 3.10 Yorkshire Pudding, 3.45 Coronation Day, 4.15 Midnight Warrior, 4.45 Vallarta, 5.15 Oriental Relation.
CHESTER: 1.50 Khairaat, 2.25 FOLKSWOOD (NAP), 3.00 Areen Heart, 3.35 Count Octave (next best), 4.05 Last Page, 4.35 Awesome Allan, 5.05 Kapstadt.
WORCESTER: 2.15 Whitsundays, 2.45 Deise Vu, 3.20 Modeligo, 3.55 Big Penny, 4.25 Lakeshore Lady, 4.55 Sutter’s Mill, 5.25 Lord Topper.