Spirit not spooked by Ascot mission

Spirit Of Sharjah will attempt to build on a promising first start for Peter Chapple-Hyam in the Willmott Dixon Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Spirit Of Sharjah will attempt to build on a promising first start for Peter Chapple-Hyam in the Willmott Dixon Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Having won twice for Julia Feilden earlier in the campaign, the son of Invincible Spirit took second in the Flying Childers on his last foray.

Subsequent Mill Reef and Middle Park winner Dark Angel was behind Spirit Of Sharjah that day and Chapple-Hyam has been happy with his new recruit’s progress since.

He said: “I was pleased with Spirit Of Sharjah’s last run when he was second in the Flying Childers at Doncaster.

“The form of that race looks pretty solid with the winner Fleeting Spirit only narrowly beaten in the Cheveley Park.

“He’ll definitely run on Saturday and he seems to be in very good form,” he told www.peterchapplehyam.com.

“I was pleased with his work on Tuesday morning. The rain we’ve had won’t do him any harm at all.”

Connections of Bett’s Spirit do not share Chapple-Hyam’s enthusiasm for the precipitation in Berkshire but are still likely to unleash their filly if conditions do not deteriorate further.

After two promising starts earlier in the season, the Michael Grassick-trained filly got off the mark at the third attempt with a cosy success at Dundalk.

Grassick said: “She’s a possibility for the Ascot race, and if the weather stays dry between now and then, she’s more than likely to go over.

“The plan is to run and she’s a nice filly. Five furlongs seems to suit her well and she just wouldn’t want it soft.”

Bett’s Spirit also has the option of running in Sunday’s six-furlong Derrinstown Stud EBF Birdcatcher Nursery at Naas.

However, Grassick is keen to bring his charge across the Irish Sea if conditions are deemed suitable.

“I’d prefer the five-furlong race as a stiff five is probably ideal for her at the moment,” he added.

The ground at Ascot is currently described as good to soft on the straight course and good to soft, soft in places on the round course.

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