Ayrshire Post - - Motors -

While most of us were asleep on Mon­day night, CROSS COUNTER was win­ning the Mel­bourne Cup, writes Julie Wil­liams.

Trained by Char­lie Ap­pleby, it crowned a per­fect sea­son which has seen the trainer win 11 Group 1 races in­clud­ing the Derby.

On an­other con­ti­nent, race fans at Ken­tucky were treated to a fine dis­play as this year’s Arc win­ner EN­ABLE be­came the first horse to fol­low up with a Breeder’s Cup vic­tory.

Back at home, few would doubt the tal­ent of Don­ald McCain.

Many would, how­ever, won­der if the Bankhouse Sta­ble han­dler could re­cover from the breakup with own­ers Paul and Clare Rooney three years ago and the re­moval of all their horses from his yard.

His resur­gence has been steady and me­thod­i­cal.

With Brian Hughes as sta­ble jockey the re­turn to grace of this Grand Na­tional win­ning trainer con­tin­ues.

When McCain talks of his use­ful chaser CLOUDY DREAMS and the prospects for his great new hope amongst the novice chasers, UPPERTOWN PRINCE, it is per­haps time to get out the note­book, and, well, take note.

Be­fore the heavy rains of win­ter al­low for the emer­gence of the best of the jumps horses, Don­caster stages a feast on the flat this Satur­day with the Went­worth Stakes and the Gil­lies Fil­lies Stakes the two listed highlights on a com­pet­i­tive card.

The go­ing is cur­rently ‘ good’. But with over 40 run­ners be­tween both races at the five day dec­la­ra­tion stage, find­ing one who will make the start­ing line up - let alone a win­ner - comes with its own par­tic­u­lar prob­lems.

In the Fil­lies Stakes at 1: 30pm the stand­out statis­tic is that just one of the last 10 win­ners has gone off favourite.

MAID TO RE­MEM­BER and QUEEN OF TIME share the du­bi­ous hon­our of be­ing joint favourites at 7/ 2 in an open race with Der­mot Weld’s HAZEL BAY a strong third at 5/ 1.

With just one race to her name the daugh­ter of IFFRAAJ was sec­ond in a listed event at Na­van in April. She was held up off the pace on de­but and while never trou­bling the win­ner she stayed on strongly.

A trait that could prove handy for the pun­ish­ing long straight of Don­caster where she is step­ping up to 1m 2 fur­longs.

At a price Sir Mark Prescott­trained HAR­MON­ICA ( 16/ 1) could prove prof­itable as she con­tin­ues to im­prove.

In the Went­worth Stakes DON­JUAN TRI­UMPHANT ( 4/ 1) is the mar­ket leader. Few could ar­gue with that given the fiveyearold was a com­mend­able third to SANDS OF MALI in the Bri­tish Cham­pi­ons Sprint Stakes last time out.

Time Easterby’s FLY­ING PURSUIT has run some races in big handicaps and comes with course and dis­tance form.

Should there be rain come Satur­day it can only im­prove the geld­ing’s chances. The 12/ 1 on of­fer makes him a de­cent each way prospect.

Fol­low @ Rac­ingJulie

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