Richard Hughes plans to stay as busy as possible ahead of a weekend Classic engagement after making his long-awaited comeback at Lingfield yesterday.
The Irish jockey would like to be at his peak for Richard Hannon’s Trumpet Major in Saturday’s Qipco 2000 Guineas and headed off around the M25 to Kempton’s evening meeting after having taken three rides without success at the Surrey course.
Hughes had been forced to serve a 50-day ban handed out by the Indian racing jurisdiction for not following riding instructions, a suspension which was reciprocated by the British Horseracing Authority.
“It’s just good to be out of the house,” said Hughes.
“I’ve been riding out as much as possible as I’ve always thought that’s the only way to get the fitness back.
“I’m pleased they’ve put a few more meetings on the all-weather this week with the abandonments as I just want to ride as much as possible.”
Hughes missed out on partnering Trumpet Major to an impressive victory in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket and picked him over Hannon’s other runners, Bronterre, Redact and Coupe De Ville.
“I was very impressed with him at Newmarket,” he said.
“I didn’t think he’d go on the (good to soft) ground as he ran once on soft ground last year and ran terrible.
“He has obviously improved a lot from two to three.”
* Significant rain has seen the going at Newmarket ease to soft ahead of the two-day Qipco Guineas Festival this weekend.
While the headquarters of British Flat racing has escaped the worst of the wet weather that has plagued most of Britain over the past few days, it has not got away scot free.
A total of 9.5 millimetres of rain on Monday night and Tuesday morning has caused director of racing Michael Prosser to change the ground from good to soft.
* Hazel Lavery is likely to put her Investec Oaks credentials on the line in the Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on Sunday.
Second in a big sales race to Samitar on her final start as a juvenile, the Excellent Art filly has been pleasing trainer Charlie Hills in her homework.
“At the moment, the Pretty Polly Stakes is the plan for Hazel Lavery and I think the ground will be fine for her as I wouldn’t want to run her on ground too firm at this stage of the season,” said the Lambourn handler.
“She also worked at Newmarket with (1000 Guineas hope) Gray Pearl and went nicely so we will certainly have a good look at the race.”
* Frankel will continue his preparation towards the JLT Lockinge with a gallop before racing at Newmarket on Saturday.
Henry Cecil’s superstar, the highest-rated racehorse in the world, will be making his first racecourse appearance since an injury scare last month.
Initial reports suggested he would be galloping before racing on Sunday but he will now exercise 24 hours earlier.
He is scheduled to arrive at 12.30pm and is expected to work with Bullet Train and Jet Away at approximately 12.55pm.
* Ed Dunlop’s globetrotter Red Cadeaux begins his 2012 campaign close to home in the Levy Board Sagaro Stakes at Kempton today.
The six-year-old was agonisingly touched off by Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup last November before signing off in 2011 with a third place behind the same horse in the Hong Kong Vase.
Dunlop expects Red Cadeaux to be all the better for the run in this Group Three, which has been switched to Kempton’s all-weather course after Ascot was abandoned.
“We were loathe not to wait for the middle of the season on firm ground hoping there would be some rain around earlier on,” said the Newmarket trainer.
“It’s not at Ascot now but we know he acts on the Polytack.
“I’m happy with the horse, but this is his first start back knowing that he’s going to get better.
“We’ll see what happens, but the Yorkshire Cup over a mile and six will be one of his aims.
“He’s in races up until Royal Ascot time. We’ll see how he goes, but we’ll probably give him a break and that start to prepare him to go back to Australia in the latter part of the season.”
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