Saturday, May 08, 2010



Owner Julian Richmond-Watson is hoping that his exciting filly Ceilidh House can continue his excellent record in the Listed Oaks Trial at Lingfield on Saturday, ahead of a possible tilt at the £350,000 Group One Investec Oaks on Friday, June 4.

The former Senior Steward of the Jockey Club has been represented in the past three renewals of the extended 11-furlong Lingfield contest, most notably by the 2008 runner-up Look Here, who went on to give her owner a first Classic success when storming to victory in the Investec Oaks.

Kayah landed the spoils at Lingfield in 2007 prior to taking ninth behind Light Shift at Epsom Downs, while Tottie came home third in the Oaks Trial last year before going on to be eighth behind Sariska in the premier fillies’ Classic.

Like his three previous runners, Ceilidh House is trained by Ralph Beckett and the three-year-old home-bred daughter of Selkirk made an impressive debut at Nottingham in October when quickening clear to take a mile maiden by four lengths.

Richmond-Watson said: “Ceilidh House is well and Ralph has been pleased with her work. She won her maiden well, but time will tell whether she beat anything of note.

“It’s more a question of looking forward with her now and we will know a bit more about her after Saturday. I have had the first, second and third in the race over the past three years, so Ceilidh House will probably be fourth!

“She has a similar profile to Kayah and Look Here - both went to Lingfield after winning their maidens on debut. She seems well and we are hoping that she can run a good race.”

Ceilidh House takes on five rivals in the Oaks Trial, all of whom hold entries for the Investec Oaks. The Henry Cecil-trained Timepiece is the current ante-post favourite for the Epsom Classic, having ended her juvenile campaign with a game victory in a Listed contest at Newmarket in October and been fourth behind Rumoush on her seasonal return in another Listed race at the Suffolk course in April.

Kempton maiden winner Dyna Waltz was fifth in the Group One Fillies’ Mile at Ascot but disappointed when ninth on her seasonal return for John Gosden in the Group Three Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket, while the Barry Hills-trained Bebopalula has made a bright start to her three-year-old campaign by winning a maiden on the Polytrack at Lingfield Park and then following up with a easy win in a Windsor handicap.

The field is completed by Golden Waters, who has been fifth on both her starts for Eve Johnson-Houghton, and Newbury maiden fifth Blast Furnace, who is trained by dual Investec Derby-winning handler Peter Chapple-Hyam.

Lingfield also hosts the Derby Trial on Saturday and the Group Three contest, also run over an extended 11 furlongs, has thrown up plenty of clues for Epsom Downs in recent years.

The 2004 winner Percussionist went on to be fourth in the Investec Derby, while Walk In The Park, was runner-up in both races in 2005. Aqaleem, successful in 2007, was third to Authorized in the Epsom Classic the following month.

Five of the seven runners in this year’s contest also hold an entry in the Investec Derby including the Henry Cecil-trained Bullet Train, who was added as a second entry in April. The son of Sadler’s Wells won on his debut at Yarmouth in October and was a half-length runner-up on his seasonal return in a 10-furlong conditions race at Newbury.

Sir Michael Stoute and Saeed Suhail enjoyed Investec Derby success with Kris Kin in 2003 and the same owner/trainer combination will be represented by Desert Myth, who made an impressive debut when winning a Newmarket maiden in April and has re-routed to Lingfield Park from Chester where the ground was judged too soft.

Aidan O’Brien has saddled the two previous winners of the Derby Trial and the Irish handler will bid for a hat-trick with Dundalk maiden scorer Captain James Cook and Don Carlos, who was fourth to Passion For Gold in the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud in November.

The Michael Jarvis-trained Hot Prospect disappointed on his final juvenile start but bounced back to form when taking third in a valuable sales race at Newmarket in April.

Although not currently entered in the Investec Derby, both Dubawi Phantom and Togiak could still be supplemented for the Epsom Classic at a cost of £75,000 on May 31 if they impress at Lingfield tomorrow.

Trials for both the Investec Derby and the Investec Oaks have taken place at Chester this week. On Wednesday the Listed Cheshire Oaks went to Gertrude Bell, who holds an entry for the Epsom Downs contest, while trainer David Elsworth has stated that he may consider supplementing the unlucky fourth Myplacelater for the June 4 Classic. The last filly to complete the Cheshire Oaks/Investec Oaks double was the Henry Cecil-trained Light Shift in 2007.

On Wednesday, it was the colts who went on trial for the Investec Derby in the Group Three Chester Vase. Ted Spread, trained by Mark Tompkins, ran on well to take the contest by a head and connections stated that the Investec Derby was now very much the plan for the Beat Hollow colt. The other Chester Derby Trial, the Group Three Dee Stakes, went to the John Gosden-trained Azmeel, who is also likely to head to Epsom Downs on June 5.

Further clues for the Investec Derby could come in Ireland on Sunday in the Group Two Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown, a race won in recent years by subsequent Epsom Downs victors Sinndar (2000), Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002). The four declarations for the 10-furlong contest include two Investec Derby entries - the Aidan O’Brien-trained duo of At First Sight and Midas Touch.

Next week, the action moves on to York when another leading trial for the Investec Derby takes place on Thursday, May 13, the Group Two Dante Stakes. In recent years, horses to have won at both York and Epsom Downs include Authorized (2007), Motivator (2005) and North Light (2004). Of the 13 Dante Stakes entries, nine also hold engagements in the Investec Derby including the much-touted Workforce, ante-post second favourite for the Classic and Godolphin’s Chabal, successful in the Group Three bet365Classic Trial at Sandown Park on April 23. Aidan O’Brien could be represented by the unbeaten Group Two scorer Cape Blanco and Viscount Nelson, while Michael Bell, who handled Motivator, is set to run Coordinated Cut, winner of the valuable Timeform Tattersalls 3-Y-O Trophy at Newmarket last month. Other horses currently engaged in both races are Azmeel, Emirates Dream, Fair Trade and Rashaad.

Fillies also have the chance at York to advertise their Investec Oaks credentials in the Group Three Tattersalls Musidora Stakes on Wednesday, May 12. Of the 19 entries in the 10-furlong contest, 12 also hold an entry for the Investec Oaks including 1000 Guineas third Gile Na Greine.

For further information please contact:

Rupert Trevelyan, Managing Director at Epsom Downs Racecourse, on 01372 726311

Andrew Cooper, Director of Racing at Epsom Downs Racecourse, on 07774 230850

Johnno Spence at JSC Sport on 07860 583307




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