Flat advice to keep punters on the level

RACING: The Flat season on turf starts on Thursday and swiftly builds towards the Classics. Here, the leading trainers tell Ian Davies of the horses from their stables which can reward their followers in the coming months
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The Independent Online
With the Flat turf season season commencing at Doncaster on Thursday and the Newmarket Craven meeting only four weeks away, trainers are starting to get serious with their strings and already have a fair idea what 1996 will hold for them. Some have reason to believe the next few months will bring Classic success, others are hoping to land coups in handicaps. Game- plans are being drawn up and strategems devised.

Last March, Peter Chapple-Hyam was already in the position of being able to predict to us early success for the subsequent Craven Stakes winner Painter's Row, while David Loder was keen on the unraced juvenile Applaud, who went on to win the Cherry Hinton Stakes. Not every horse will realise its potential but with patience, following a list of horses can be a fascinating alternative to form-book study -and can throw up up big-price winners.

The horses listed here, which include unexposed handicappers, unraced maidens and possible winners of the 1,000 Guineas, 2,000 Guineas, Oaks, Derby and St Leger, give the punter something with which to go to war.

MICHAEL BELL

"Go With The Wind, who ran twice as a two-year-old, will go for an all- weather maiden soon for that third run which will entitle him to a handicap mark. He will be suited by a mile or more this season. Doctor Bravious has had three runs, landed an all-weather maiden over an extended mile at Wolverhampton in January and has been given a handicap mark of 70. I think that's lenient and he might be aimed for a handicap at Kempton's Easter meeting."

JACK BERRY

Mind Games, chosen for this list in 1994 and 1995, completes the hat- trick. "He'll go for all the top sprints over five furlongs and may bid for the Haydock Park Sprint Championship over six in September. However, his main target is the Nunthorpe over five furlongs at York in August. He won't be making such an early start this year. The Temple Stakes at Sandown in May will probably be his first race. My Melody Parkes will be aimed at the 1,000 Guineas and will probably run in the Nell Gwyn Stakes over seven furlongs at the Craven meeting first. She's by the 1983 Derby winner, Teenoso, and absolutely certain to stay a mile."

CLIVE BRITTAIN

"Babinda won the Houghton Stakes at Newmarket last October. Has wintered very well and, a son of Old Vic, will be suited by a mile and upwards. Amfortas, who is by Caerleon, has been showing ability at home and will also be suited by a mile. He has plenty of speed."

NEVILLE CALLAGHAN

"Danehill Dancer, runner up to Alhaarth in the Dewhurst, is well but has not done much fast work so far. If he pleases me, he may go for the Greenham Stakes at Newbury -he would have to carry a penalty in Newmarket's Craven Stakes as he won two Group One races last year -and will then go for the 2,000 Guineas. I'm hopeful he will stay a mile, but I've known horses show form at seven furlongs as two-year-olds that have ended up being best at six. Tarawa won the pounds 35,000 Ladbroke Autumn Handicap at Newmarket last backend and is a progressive four-year-old who may go on to better things this year. A mile suits him well."

HENRY CECIL

"Phantom Quest is a nice maiden three-year-old by Rainbow Quest who should win a race. Bright Water is a three-year-old by Caerleon who last October won a mile maiden at Yarmouth. Hopefully, he will make up into a Group- class performer at a mile and a half."

PETER CHAPPLE-HYAM

"Astor Place won a 23-runner seven furlongs maiden in good style at Newmarket and then ran well when beaten only around three lengths into fifth behind Loup Solitaire in the Grand Criterium over a mile at Longchamp. He will start off in the Craven and then run in the Dante. By Sadler's Wells, he may be a Derby colt. Heron Island is another Epsom type. He won a 17- runner mile maiden at the St Leger meeting before finishing two and a half lengths fourth to Even Top in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes over an inadequate seven furlongs at Newmarket in October. We'll start him off in the Feilden Stakes over nine furlongs at the Craven meeting and then he'll go for one of the Derby trials."

ROGER CHARLTON

"Cap Juluca, who improved about 7lb with every race last season, ending up rated about 112 by the Handicapper after winning the Cambridgeshire. He is expected to make up into a Group-race performer at 10 furlongs. He's eligible for conditions races so I'll start him off in one of those in May and then look for a Listed race. If he improves another 10lb, he'll make a Group Two horse. If he improves even more, we might even think about races like the Eclipse. Private Song is a nice American-bred by Private Account who will be suited by a mile to 10 furlongs. He finished a promising half-length second on his only start as a two-year-old in an 18-runner maiden over seven furlongs at Doncaster last November."

PAUL COLE

"Riyadian has wintered very well and, if he comes up to scratch, the main target this year will be the King George at Ascot. He acts on any going and, although he ran well when two lengths second to Spectrum in the Champion Stakes over 10 furlongs, will race only at a mile and a half this year. Leonine, who ran a bit green when a short-head second in the six furlongs Convivial Stakes on his debut at the York August meeting, then returned to the same track a fortnight later to win a maiden over the same trip. He will make a fair miler this year. I'll start him off in one of the lesser Classic trials, maybe the one at Thirsk over the round mile, although if he really pleases in the next few weeks we might think about the Greenham."

LUCA CUMANI

"Humourless, who is by Nashwan out of a staying mare, had three runs last year but was rather backward. He was beaten about five lengths into fourth place in a 17-runner maiden over a mile at Leicester on his final start. Hopefully this year, as he matures and tackles longer distances, he should make a useful performer. Select Few, by Alzao, also had three runs last year and, on his last outing won a Goodwood maiden over a mile in good fashion. He will be suited by 10 furlongs. Both horses are likely to be ready to run in April."

JOHN DUNLOP

"Nwaamis had a lot of physical problems last year but hopefully he is over them. As he has won only one race, he is eligible for a lot of conditions races and I want to get a sweetener into him in a minor contest before thinking about a Group race and he may run in the Doncaster Mile on Thursday. Bint Salsabil, although she may turn out more of an Oaks filly, will be aimed at the 1,000 Guineas and, as she is a long-striding filly, I may take her to Newmarket to run in the Nell Gwyn over the straight seven rather than go to Newbury for the Fred Darling which is run round a bend."

JAMES FANSHAWE

"Judicial Supremacy is a two-year-old full brother -by Warning out of mare by The Minstrel - who will probably make his debut in a six furlong maiden in May. Nunsharpa, is a three-year-old half sister to Unblest by Sharpo. She finished unplaced in a six-furlong Newmarket maiden on her only start as a juvenile last October. She will be ready to run by mid- April, will start off over six or seven furlongs and might get a mile."

JOHN GOSDEN

"Lord Of Men, who won the Group One Prix de la Salamandre for me has wintered well. He will start off in either the Greenham or the Craven. He should stay 10 furlongs but I am not sure he would last the mile and a half of the Derby. There are fewer stamina doubts about Sacho [cut to 16-1 from 20-1 by the Tote yesterday for the Derby] who is by Kris out of Oh So Sharp. He ran very promisingly on his only start, finishing second in the traditionally competitive Chesterton Maiden Stakes at Newmarket in October. He will be suited by 10 furlongs or a mile and a half, will run at the Craven meeting and is a fine prospect."

JOHN HILLS

"Al Abraq is a three-year-old by Reprimand who won on his debut and then was a creditable fifth to Rio Duvida in the Tattersalls Houghton Stakes. I was going to run him in the Free Handicap at the Craven meeting, but he has had a minor set-back and will now wait for a conditions race later on. He has wintered very well and might be good enough for something like the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. Diminutive had three runs last year, finishing third on the last of them in a maiden at Leicester when he came back not quite right. He has been wintering in Pisa, getting a bit of sun, and is working well out there. He'll start off in a small maiden and will then go for handicaps at a mile to 10 furlongs. He's the sort who might have a crack at the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot."

LYNDA RAMSDEN

The trainer's husband, the respected professional gambler Jack Ramsden, said: "Master Charter had slight soundness problems last year but still managed to win over seven furlongs. He appeared not to get a mile subsequently, but is bred to get 10 furlongs and should stay a mile this year. He is entered for a six furlong handicap at Doncaster on Friday. Another ready to appear soon is Sujud, who was picked up for 4,000 guineas from Tom Jones last back-end. She is at the bottom of the handicap, stays well and will go for 14 furlongs-plus handicaps."

ALEC STEWART

"Dabka Dancer, who has strengthened over the winter, is by Cadeaux Genereux out of Lupe Stakes winner Lady Shipley. He was fifth in a maiden on the July course and then a close third in a 19-runner seven furlongs maiden at Yarmouth. He will run in mid-April and should make a fair miler/10 furlongs performer. Jumairah Sunset is an unraced three-year-old filly by Be My Guest who has had niggling problems. She has made up into a very attractive sort and I will be disappointed if she cannot win races. She has been making more than average progress in recent weeks. Likely to stay a mile, she may be ready to appear in mid-April."

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