Turf Talk: Ventura Rebel connections face a “lovely” Norfolk-Coventry race selection headache at Royal Ascot

Ventura Rebel, ridden by jockey Paul Hanagan winning the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes during the Royal Ascot Trials Day earlier this month. PIC: Steven Paston/PA Wire
Ventura Rebel, ridden by jockey Paul Hanagan winning the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes during the Royal Ascot Trials Day earlier this month. PIC: Steven Paston/PA Wire
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A tilt at the Norfolk Stakes rather than the Coventry could be Ventura Rebel’s target at Royal Ascot following his victory at the Berkshire course two weeks ago.

Connections of the Middleham Park Racing-owned colt are “probably steering” towards the five-furlong contest at this stage, after he lowered the colours of American speedster Lady Pauline in the Pavilion Stakes over the minimum trip.

Too Darn Hot and Frankie Dettori winning The 188Bet Solario Stakes Race run at Sandown Park last September. PIC: Julian Herbert/PA Wire

Too Darn Hot and Frankie Dettori winning The 188Bet Solario Stakes Race run at Sandown Park last September. PIC: Julian Herbert/PA Wire

Lady Pauline looked like landing the odds with ease when she built up a big lead, but Ventura Rebel, trained by Richard Fahey, finished strongly to snatch victory by a length and follow up a Thirsk debut success.

“He’s come out of Ascot great and, at the moment, the plan is simply to go to Royal Ascot with him,” said Tom Palin, syndicate manager for Middleham Park Racing. “His target is undecided. It will either be the Norfolk or the Coventry.

“The time he did at Ascot last time out suggests he should be in the mix in the Norfolk, but the visual impression he gave suggests the six furlongs shouldn’t be a problem so it’s a really lovely problem to have.

“We’re probably steering towards the Norfolk at this stage.

“There are two styles of race-reading – the visual and the time – and he gave a great a impression on both.

“I don’t know if Lady Pauline travelled over OK or if that was her true running. If it was, then we have plenty to be excited about.

“It should be a good day whichever way we go.”

n Too Darn Hot will face seven rivals when he makes his eagerly-awaited reappearance in what promises to be a high-class renewal of the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York tomorrow.

Aidan O’Brien has dominated the Derby trials so far this spring and sends Japan into battle in the latest of them.

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

YORK: 1.50 FUJAIRA PRINCE (NAP), 2.25 Vibrant Chords, 3.00 Invincible Army (next best), 3.35 Sparkle Roll (treble), 4.05 The Night Watch, 4.35 Bomb Proof, 5.05 Get Back Get Back.

YARMOUTH: 2.00 Sussudio, 2.35 You Little Ripper, 3.10 Going Native, 3.45 Cosmic Ray, 4.15 Itsakindamagic, 4.45 Irish Times, 5.15 Showdance Kid.

NEWTON ABBOT: 2.10 Heatstroke, 2.45 Enjoy Responsibly, 3.20 Lovely Touch, 3.55 Igor, 4.25 Eric The Third, 4.55 Southfield Vic, 5.30 Steal A March.

BATH: 5.25 Mrs Todd, 5.55 Tally’s Song, 6.25 Shining, 6.55 Great Bear, 7.25 Simbirsk, 7.55 Millie May, 8.25 Lippy Lady.

PERTH: 6.05 I’m Wiser Now, 6.35 Im Too Generous, 7.05 Lady Samback, 7.35 The Boola Bee, 8.05 Amberose, 8.35 Black River, 9.05 Song Of The Night.