Turf Talk: Silchester shaping up for ‘bigger and better things’

Trainer, David Simcock.

Silchester made a big impression on his racecourse introduction at Southwell a couple of weeks ago and can follow up on his return to the Nottinghamshire track in the sunbets.co.uk Novice Stakes.

David Simcock’s colt travelled with plenty of exuberance through the early stages of his debut, so it is testament to his talent that he had enough in the tank to comfortably see off Dawn Dancer by three lengths without being asked for maximum effort.

Trainer, Keith Dalgleish.

To put the form into some sort of context, Dawn Dancer had finished a similar distance behind the high-class subsequent winner On The Warpath on his previous outing, while the third from that race, Desert Wind, has won twice since.

Silchester clearly handles the Fibresand and with that initial experience under his belt, he can maintain his unbeaten record before going on to bigger and better things.

The Keith Dalgleish-trained Ray Purchase is two from two at the Newark circuit and looks to have been found a good opportunity to make it three in the 32Red.com Handicap.

While his form on the grass is nothing to write home about, the gelded son of Lethal Force has proved admirably consistent in the early part of his all-weather career, only once finishing out of the three in six starts.

He bolted up here in mid-January before chasing home subsequent winner Harvest Day at Wolverhampton and enjoyed a successful return to Southwell when making all the running and winning readily three weeks ago.

Ray Purchase is rated 62 for his latest assignment, a stone higher in the weights than when opening his account a little over a month ago. However, many of his rivals are out of form, whereas Dalgleish’s three-year-old is clearly on the improve.

Shamrokh rates the best bet at Chelmsford’s evening fixture.

The former John Gosden inmate has won his last two starts at the Essex venue for Mick Appleby, following a couple of fine efforts in defeat, and and while this £10,000 contest looks competitive enough, Shamrokh should prove very hard to beat.

Mia’s Storm can get her season back on course in the Smarkets Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase at Huntingdon.

Alan King’s charge won four times over hurdles and was so impressive on her first two starts over fences she was favourite to beat the boys at Grade One level in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton.

Unfortunately for her supporters she came unstuck on Boxing Day as she failed to convince with her jumping and eventually came to grief.

She has been given plenty of time to recover from that fall, though, and back against her own sex on slightly less demanding ground, she should bounce back to her best.

Valgor Du Ronceray is of interest in the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Handicap Hurdle at Sedgefield.

The nine-year-old was a comfortable winner on his latest appearance over hurdles in Ireland when trained by Joseph O’Brien for Gigginstown House Stud, after which he was snapped up by Micky Hammond for £13,000.

He has been campaigned exclusively over fences since arriving in Britain, but things have not gone to plan as he has failed to complete twice from three starts.

That said, his effort to finish fourth at Catterick behind Divine Spear was not devoid of promise and he would have finished much closer but for making a serious error in the back straight.

If he can get his act together in the jumping department back over the smaller obstacles, he is certainly capable of being competitive off his current mark.


CHELMSFORD: 5.55 Barnsdale, 6.30 The Night King, 7.00 Mythical Spirit, 7.30 Danzan, 8.00 Shamrokh (treble), 8.30 Surrey Blaze, 9.00 Deliberator.

HUNTINGDON: 2.20 Mr Lando, 2.55 Brecon Hill, 3.30 Alberta, 4.05 Mia’s Storm, 4.40 Old Salt, 5.15 Fawsley Spirit.

SEDGEFIELD: 1.40 Valgor Du Ronceray, 2.10 Titian Boy, 2.45 Pastoral Music, 3.20 Cash Again, 3.55 Beeno, 4.30 Derrynane, 5.05 Sky Full Of Stars.

SOUTHWELL: 2.00 Beauden Barrett, 2.35 SILCHESTER (NAP), 3.10 Ray Purchase (next best), 3.45 Captain Lars, 4.20 Clayton Hall, 4.55 Good Time Ahead.

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