Imshiv­alla’s time is here

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

IMSHIV­ALLA can make a be­lated re­turn to the win­ner’s en­clo­sure if she runs to some­where near her best form at Red­car.

The like­able mare from Richard Fa­hey’s yard has been a bit hit and miss since she won a nice prize at Ep­som in June.

But she showed a lit­tle more vim at Ayr last time and must be recog­nised as more than a bit-part player for the Muriel Nod­dings Birth­day Cel­e­bra­tion Hand­i­cap over a mile and a quar­ter.

De­spite hav­ing dis­ap­pointed in a Listed race at the Western Meet­ing in Scot­land, Imshiv­alla re­sponded pur­pose­fully just two days later to fin­ish a close third in a class two hand­i­cap.

That was a re­ally bold ef­fort from the front and one that must give Fa­hey plenty of op­ti­mism with this race in mind.

The five-year-old daugh­ter of Ac­cla­ma­tion is 2lb higher in the weights than when she won son hand­somely at Ep­som, but that is hardly an in­sur­mount­able bur­den.

With a bit of dig in the ground prac­ti­cally a given for this time of year, even in spite of the un­sea­son­ably dry spell, hopes are high that Imshiv­alla can sign off from the turf sea­son with a bit of a flour­ish.

Mazz­ini is re­spected in the 32Red. com Hand­i­cap at Kempton.

A good third at As­cot in Septem­ber, hav­ing pre­vi­ously en­dured hor­rid luck at Yar­mouth, James Fan­shawe’s three­year-old is now back on the all-weather trail.

The man­ner in which he won a fair race at New­cas­tle in Au­gust is an im­por­tant snip­pet of form when it comes to as­sess­ing this six-fur­long test.

Solid all-weather yard­stick Top Boy, a sound run­ner-up at Chelms­ford, should not be over­looked in the Bet­way Sprint Hand­i­cap at Wolver­hamp­ton.

Garde La Vic­toire can add his name to an il­lus­tri­ous roll of hon­our in the 188Bet Hal­don Gold Cup at Ex­eter.

The Grade Two hand­i­cap chase has been claimed by some se­ri­ously sharp­shoot­ers in re­cent times, with the likes of Best Mate, Az­er­tyuiop and Cue Card on the score­sheet.

Now might be the mo­ment for Garde La Vic­toire to make a gen­uine state­ment of in­tent for the Philip Hobbs op­er­a­tion.

The sec­ond-sea­son chaser is a lovely horse, but his im­pres­sive CV was tar­nished last spring when he fell at the Chel­tenham and Ain­tree fes­ti­vals.

That is ob­vi­ously not great, but it must be re­mem­bered that he was well in con­tention in the JLT Novices’ Chase at Chel­tenham when he came to grief four fences from home.

He was prob­a­bly still in with a shout at Ain­tree, too, be­fore his story ended with a low and awk­ward leap dur­ing the Man­i­festo Novices’ Chase.

Garde La Vic­toire was given time off to re­cu­per­ate but looked the essence of vi­tal­ity upon his re­turn to the fray at Ffos Las, when, one mis­take aside, he coolly claimed gold in the Welsh Cham­pion Hur­dle.

With con­di­tions likely to be per­fect for him, Garde La Vic­toire, who has re­port­edly been school­ing like a dream at home, should also be ide­ally suited by a stiff track like Ex­eter.

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