Fresh Hope could be an appropriately-named winner on the opening night of the Racing League at Doncaster.
Charlie Fellowes’ filly lines up for The East in the hands of Hayley Turner in the second race on the card, the William Hill Best Odds Guaranteed Racing League R2, and will be bidding to build on a comfortable success at Leicester only a few weeks ago.
That was her second win of the campaign following a victory on Town Moor over a mile in May and in between those two triumphs was a fair effort to finish sixth in the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Her handler is certain conditions are perfect for another bold bid as he hopes to get The East region off to a fast start in the six-week competition.
“This has been the plan for quite some time,” said Fellowes. “She loves Doncaster and the rain they have had is a big plus – I think it was plenty quick enough for her at Leicester last time out. She’ll also love the bigger field and 14 runners, instead of the four she ran against last time, just a bigger field and a better pace to aim at.
“There’s lots in her favour and I would like to think she’s still ahead of her mark.”
Giving Fresh Hope most to think about could be Jessica Harrington’s raider Princess Rajj, who looks to be one of Team Ireland’s best chances of a week-one winner.
Ireland team manager Kevin Blake said: “I thought I would be short on Irish entries this week, which I was, but the two Jessica Harrington-trained runners Tauran Shaman and Princess Rajj would look to have strong chances.
“I think David O’Meara’s runner in the 12-furlong handicap, Animato, is interesting. He is on a bit of a roll and is still unexposed over a mile and a half. I reckon we probably have quite a strong hand in the five-furlong handicap as well, with Alligator Alley and Kape Moss.”
Fellowes will also be hoping to find the scoresheet with Wynter Wildes, who runs in the William Hill Pick Your Places Racing League R6 over a mile and a half.
He said: “She ran only four days ago, but she takes her racing unbelievably well and thrives on it. She’ll love Doncaster.
“She’s done nothing since Sunday, but has put all her weight back on, seems fresh and well and is well drawn.
“I would like to think she has a fine chance providing the race on Sunday hasn’t left a mark.”
There could be more joy for The East in the William Hill Build Your Odds Racing League R3, the one race of the night exclusive to two-year-olds.
The region saddle just one runner in the race, X J Rascal, but the Kodiac colt is the highest rated of the 11 that go to post for the seven-furlong contest and arrives on the back of a head defeat in a competitive Goodwood handicap last week.
“He should have a very nice chance, he was unlucky at Goodwood and he missed the kick by a long way. I’d be pretty hopeful that he’ll take a lot of beating,” said Classic-winning trainer George Boughey.
The East team manager Rupert Bell added: “He ran a cracker at Goodwood last week, when he was only beaten a head, and he runs here off the same mark.”
Bell was the victorious team manager in the inaugural Racing League when overseeing the preparation of Team TalkSPORT 12 months ago and is confident he can make a strong start in his bid to go back-to-back in the competition.
He continued: “Marco Botti has three nice chances, including Nao Da Mais, who was a winner last time out at Kempton, while Charlie Fellowes is sweet on the prospects of Fresh Hope in the seven-furlong handicap.
“I am very happy with the support we had from trainers for week one and hopefully we can get some good points on the board.”