Western Daily Press

Varian’s Aquaman set to make a splash at Chester

- DAVID CLOUGH Press Associatio­n

AQUAMAN can confirm his adaptabili­ty with victory in the Deepbridge Estate Planning Service Handicap at Chester.

Roger Varian’s Kodiac colt demonstrat­ed on his final start last season that he can handle easy conditions when he moved well on soft ground at Yarmouth before having to settle for an honourable runner-up spot.

He improved significan­tly on that form when a well-backed winning favourite at Catterick last month.

That success came on a much quicker surface, and Aquaman’s pedigree suggests he may well be most at home in those conditions.

He has nonetheles­s shown already that he can acquit himself well too when there is rain around - as there is at the Roodee this week - and as the forecast improves for day two of the Boodles May Festival, he should not be inconvenie­nced.

A 300,000 guineas yearling, Aquaman was unplaced but ran with credit in very useful novice company on his first two career starts - including here - late last summer.

But his Yarmouth performanc­e and winning Catterick return put him on an upward curve, and an initial rating of 87 gives him a chance to double up against his contempora­ries on handicap debut.

Trueshan used to inhabit similar company but is a proven Group performer these days, and can successful­ly concede 2lb and upwards in the tote+ Pays You More At tote.co.uk Ormonde Stakes. Alan King’s gelding will need to be 5lb better than likely favourite Japan but has been a remarkable and sustained improver over the past two seasons.

Trueshan posted a new personal best when signing off as part of a famous day for his jockey Hollie Doyle with a hugely impressive victory in the Group Two British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October. He drops back in trip here and as a Gold Cup hopeful at Ascot next month, this return is likely to be a staging post en route back to marathon tests - but even at this sharp

Chelmsford City - (five-year record)

Top Trainers (with runners): M Johnston 69-417 (16.6%), D M Simcock 47-268 (17.5%), S C Williams 47-349 (13.5%) S bin Suroor 40-158 (25.3%), R Hughes 33-169 (19.5%), C Wallis 28-240 (11.7%) R Hannon 28-296 (9.5%), A Balding 26-201 (12.9%), S & E Crisford 23-123 (18.7%) Sir M Prescott 23-153 (15%), P McEntee 21-277 (7.6%), M Usher 20-132 (15.2%).

Top Jockeys (with mounts): Luke Morris 70-714 (9.8%), Oisin Murphy 61-287 (21.2%), Callum Shepherd 42-283 (14.8%) Shane W Kelly 30-282 (10.6%), Josephine Gordon 29-290 (10%), Kieran O’Neill 27-297 (9.1%) David Egan 23-186 (12.4%), Kieran Shoemark 22-147 (15%), Daniel Muscutt 21-237 (8.9%) Jamie Spencer 18-106 (17%), Ben Curtis 18-133 (13.5%), Liam Keniry 15-179 (8.4%).

Favourites: 691-1987 (34.8%).

Chester - (five-year record)

Top Trainers (with runners): R Fahey 46-384 (12%), A Balding 33-153 (21.6%), T Dascombe 28-237 (11.8%) M Johnston 24-160 (15%), I Williams 15-118 (12.7%), T Easterby 15-121 (12.4%) R Beckett 12-56 (21.4%), R Hannon 11-52 (21.1%), W Haggas 8-25 (32%) A P O’Brien 8-26 (30.8%), Sir M Stoute 7-26 (26.9%), P Evans 7-51 (13.7%).

Top Jockeys (with mounts): Franny Norton 26-192 (13.5%), Richard Kingscote 23-145 (15.9%), David Probert 18-97 (18.6%) Paul Hanagan 13-102 (12.8%), track, with soft ground in his favour, Trueshan can outstay Japan and outclass the remainder.

Earlswood is another who appears sure to handle conditions, and may be capable of causing a minor surprise in the tote+ Biggest Dividends At tote.co.uk Dee Stakes.

Several of his rivals may not be seen at their best if the ground is still riding soft, but he will have no trouble on the basis of a convincing maiden victory at Navan in March.

Earlswood showed plenty of stamina that day, having shown a decent level of form for John Oxx against some high-profile opponents last autumn. He steps up beyond a mile for the first time, but it looks a sound option on both pedigree and racecourse evidence.

Chelmsford provides the evening Flat action, and Red Mirage can get punters off to a successful start in the tote Placepot Your First Bet Novice Stakes.

Jockey Ben Curtis and trainer Mark Johnston may kickstart a profitable venture south as the Showcasing colt bids to underline the fine winning impression he made on his debut and sole start to date in October.

Red Mirage was not towards the head of the market that day, and was slowly away over a furlong shorter than this at Kempton. But he recovered to easily get the better of an odds-on favourite, who was a previous and then subsequent winner.

Autumn Flight faces just three rivals as he seeks to return to winning ways in the closing Bigger Pools With tote.co.uk PMU Partnershi­p Handicap.

Silvestre De Sousa 8-38 (21.1%), Ryan Moore 7-25 (28%) Jack Mitchell 7-29 (24.1%), David Allan 6-57 (10.5%), Nicola Currie 4-14 (28.6%) Sean Levey 4-19 (21.1%), Paul Mulrennan 4-20 (20%), Jason Hart 4-43 (9.3%). Favourites: 125-395 (31.6%).

Huntingdon - (five-year record)

Top Trainers (with runners): N Henderson 22-73 (30.1%), F O’Brien 16-59 (27.1%), O Murphy 14-52 (26.9%) K Bailey 14-95 (14.7%), A King 9-71 (12.7%), B Pauling 9-79 (11.4%) C Longsdon 9-92 (9.8%), G L Moore 9-94 (9.6%), L Wadham 8-45 (17.8%) T Lacey 7-27 (25.9%), G McPherson 6-50 (12%), N King 6-70 (8.6%).

Top Jockeys (with mounts): Nico De Boinville 19-70 (27.1%), Sean Bowen 13-60 (21.7%), David Bass 12-72 (16.7%) Aidan Coleman 10-60 (16.7%), Tom Cannon 8-59 (13.6%), Jonathan Burke 7-72 (9.7%) Fergus Gregory 6-30 (20%), Gavin Sheehan 6-54 (11.1%), Brian Hughes 6-55 (10.9%) Jack Quinlan 6-128 (4.7%), Tom Scudamore 5-40 (12.5%), Richie McLernon 5-46 (10.9%). Favourites: 164-452 (36.3%).

Worcester - (five-year record)

Top Trainers (with runners): Dr R Newland 22-67 (32.8%), P Hobbs 21-68 (30.9%), Jonjo O’Neill 17-114 (14.9%) P Bowen 16-80 (20%), N Henderson 13-57 (22.8%), N Twiston-Davies 12-56 (21.4%) A King 11-40 (27.5%), D Pipe 11-70 (15.7%), N Mulholland 10-113

The sprinter marked his arrival at Robert Cowell’s yard by winning his first two starts over this course and distance last month - and after being beaten just a head back on the turf at Doncaster since, it is not difficult to envisage him adding a seventh career success.

Over jumps at Huntingdon, Your Darling is surely worth another chance in the Racing TV Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.

Ben Pauling’s gelding was an immediate addition to thousands of (8.8%) C Longsdon 9-79 (11.4%), M Keighley 7-60 (11.7%), E Lavelle 6-34 (17.6%).

Top Jockeys (with mounts): Sam Twiston-Davies 27-124 (21.8%), James Bowen 11-59 (18.6%), Tom O’Brien 11-71 (15.5%) Adam Wedge 11-76 (14.5%), Daryl Jacob 8-36 (22.2%), Richard Patrick 6-38 (15.8%) Robbie Dunne 6-57 (10.5%), Ciaran Gethings 5-26 (19.2%), Paddy Brennan 5-52 (9.6%) James Best 5-63 (7.9%), Benjamin Poste 5-69 (7.2%), Will Kennedy 3-22 (13.6%).

Favourites: 147-439 (33.5%).

The following horses have cheek pieces: Chelmsford City: 5.20 Lethal Talent, Tambourine Girl, 5.50 Beepeecee, Silent Witness Swissal, Vino Santo(*), Zafaranah, 6.20 Bayston Hill Wimpole Hall.

Chester: 1.45 Corinthia Knight, Mokaatil, 2.15 Yibir(*), 3.15 Kipps Withhold, 3.45 Just Hiss.

Huntingdon: 1.55 Missthecud­dles, 2.25 Lots Of Luck, Torrent Des Mottes, 2.55 Veiled Secret 3.25 Jimmy Bell, Leskinfere, Sunny Express.

Worcester: 1.00 Deise Vu, Royal Plaza, Some Spin, 1.30 Frisco Bay Haul Away, Hawk’s Well, Huntsmans Jog, 2.00 Henri Le Bon No Quarter Asked, Sunny Express, 2.30 Amanto, Holly James 3.05 Forthegrea­tergood,

Lady Tremaine(*), 3.35 Viking Ruby, 4.07 Present Value, Presentedw­ithwings, Solstice Star, Young Offender, 4.40 Local Affair, Vanderbilt.

(*): horses wearing cheek pieces for the first time. competed in 179 races and scored 10 podiums, said: “I am so excited to jump back in an F1 car.

“It will be a special opportunit­y for me and to drive a world championsh­ip-winning Mercedes will be a unique experience.

“The first I heard about the chance to drive a Mercedes was in my hospital bed in Bahrain when [team principal] Toto [Wolff ] made the invitation. Reading that cheered me up a lot.” notebooks when he made a winning Wolff said: “The idea first came debut in a Newbury bumper last when it looked like Romain year. The form of that race has not would be ending his active career turned out to be anywhere near as in Formula One, and we didn’t strong as many first suspected, and want his accident to be his last Your Darling disappoint­ed on his moment in an F1 car. next start before falling short as well “I have known Romain since in two attempts over hurdles. his days in Formula Three when

He therefore enters handicap he won the championsh­ip. He company on a rating of just 116 - and enjoyed a long and successful F1 having had wind surgery since he career and we wanted to make last ran in November, he could be in sure that his final memories a different league to these oppowould be at the wheel of a chamnents. pionship-winning car.”

The following horses have tongue straps: Chelmsford City: 4.50 Karalius, 5.20 Arabic Charm, 5.50 Velvet Vista, Aces, Salam Ya Faisal, Silent Witness, Zafaranah, 6.20 Frankly Mr Shankly, 6.50 Top Power, King’s Proctor, 7.50 Jack The Truth.

Chester: 1.45 Copper Knight, 2.45 Yazaman, My Swallow, 3.45 Music Seeker.

Huntingdon: 1.20 Lady Of The Night, 1.55 Liffeydale Dreamer, Corrie Lake, Forchena, Hoot At Midnight, Ali The Hunter, Midnight Antics, 2.25 Pointed And Sharp, Elisezmoi, 2.55 Shall We Go Now, Veiled Secret, 3.25 Darius Des Bois, Etoile Du Matin, Carole’s Templer, Scaramucci, Maxi Jazz, Loveyoutot­hemoon, 4.00 Hors Guard, Infitaah, 4.35 Bold Vision. Worcester: 1.00 Alexander The Grey, Goldencard, Royal Plaza, 1.30 Storm Home, Huntsmans Jog, Sixteen Letters, Frisco Bay, Cul De Poule, Hot Ryan, 2.00 Hidden Charmer, Full Trottle, Henri Le Bon, Getawayton­ewbay, Legend Of Zorro, 2.30 Amanto, Here’s Herbie, 3.05 Forthegrea­tergood, Stephanie Sunshine, 3.35 The Distant Lady, Jac Brown, Viking Ruby, 4.07 Mr Clarkson, Fulgurix, Solstice Star, 4.40 Nye Bevan, Our Rodney, Orchard

Grove, Vanderbilt, Throckley.

The following horses are visored for the first time:

Huntingdon: 2.55 Shall We Go Now; 2.55 Kloud Gate

The following horses are blinkered for the first time:

Huntingdon: 1.55 Katies Escape; 1.55 Hoot At Midnight; 3.25 Scaramucci; 3.25 Darius Des Bois; 3.25 Carole’s Templer

Worcester: 1.00 Secret Melody

Longest traveller: is Rooster Cogburn in the 2.25 at Huntingdon (276 miles).

 ?? Pictures: Getty Images & PA ?? Hollie Doyle after riding Trueshan to
win The Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup during Champions Day at Ascot in October. Today Alan King’s gelding
goes in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester. Also on the Roodee today will
be trainer Roger Varian, inset, whose charge Aquaman is
in Class 2 action
Pictures: Getty Images & PA Hollie Doyle after riding Trueshan to win The Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup during Champions Day at Ascot in October. Today Alan King’s gelding goes in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester. Also on the Roodee today will be trainer Roger Varian, inset, whose charge Aquaman is in Class 2 action
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