Twilight has chance to sparkle for Menuisier

David Menuisier is glad of the opportunity to give Autumn Twilight a chance to shine in Group company before his date at the sales next week.

The Buratino colt won his only start to date at Salisbury at the beginning of this month and heads for the Molson Coors Beverage Company Stakes, registered as the Horris Hill Stakes, at Newbury on Saturday.

Menuisier wants Autumn Twilight to show how good he is before the Autumn Horses In Training Sales at Tattersalls.

“He won first time out and he looked very professional. He seems to have come out of the race well,” said the West Sussex trainer.

“He’s entered in the horses in training sales next week – so rather than take it steady, steady, I prefer to run him in a race like this and see how he goes rather than take the easy route.

“He’ll be going to another yard, so I might as well see how he good he is now.

“He should really enjoy the ground. We’ve been happy with him, so we feel there’s not much excuse really.

“We go there with no pressure. Let’s hope he runs well.”

Jane Chapple-Hyam believes there is more to come from Albadri, who has not troubled the judge since causing a 100-1 upset on his debut at Windsor in August.

However, he has been stepped up in class at Listed and Group Three level in all his three starts since then.

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“We think he’s better than he showed last time out,” she said.

“He got caught in the wrong place and couldn’t make ground from where he was.

“If he can return to the form of his run the time before at Newmarket, when he was only beaten three lengths, then you’d have to think he’s got a chance – given the winner that day (La Barrosa) is in a Group One this weekend.”

Among the tough opposition is Roger Varian’s Laneqash – who finished ahead of (subsequent Autumn Stakes winner) One Ruler when second to New Mandate at Doncaster – and John Gosden’s impressive Newmarket scorer Existent.

Raymond Tusk returns from a lay-off at Newbury on Saturday
Raymond Tusk returns from a lay-off at Newbury on Saturday (Clint Hughes/PA)

Raymond Tusk is reported to be back firing on all cylinders after being sidelined since disappointing at Wolverhampton in January.

The Richard Hannon-trained five-year-old, who ran in last year’s Melbourne Cup, returns to action in the Pravha Stakes – formerly known as the St Simon Stakes.

“He’s had one or two niggles,” said Tim Palin, Middleham Park Racing syndicate manager.

“He had a problem with one of his feet just after Wolverhampton – then he cracked a rib in the late spring/early summer.

“We were going to target the Ebor, but we just couldn’t get him back in time.

“He’s moving fantastic now and he’ll be as fit as we can get him at home.

“On ratings he’s got every chance. He should be a player. The ground is a bit of an unknown, especially first time back, but we have to start off somewhere.

“He hasn’t got any penalties to carry now. Last year he struggled a little bit with his Group Two penalty. That’s gone now.

“He’s been doing great at home, and they couldn’t be happier with him.”

Should all go well, the All-Weather Championship Finals on Good Friday could be on the agenda.

Palin added: “All-weather Finals day is a distinct possibility if he could win a fast-track qualifier.

“We’ll see what happens at the weekend. Let’s hope we’ve got our Raymond back, and he runs a big race.”

His rivals include the Andrew Balding-trained pair of Alounak and Natural History as well as Jim Goldie’s Euchen Glen, surprise winner of the Cumberland Lodge Stakes.

Trainer Karl Burke expects a good run from Gift List in the Radley Stakes at Newbury
Trainer Karl Burke expects a good run from Gift List in the Radley Stakes at Newbury (Tim Goode/PA)

Karl Burke believes Gift List has claims to pick up some black type in the Racing TV Stakes, registered as the Radley Stakes.

The daughter of Bated Breath gets her chance in Listed grade after staying on strongly to take second place behind easy winner Just Frank in a valuable 27-runner sales race at Newmarket.

That race was over six furlongs, and she steps back up to seven – over which she was successful in her two previous races.

“She’s in great form. She came out of the race at Newmarket really well,” said the North Yorkshire trainer.

Setarhe (left) bids for a Listed success at Newbury
Setarhe (left) bids for a Listed success at Newbury (David Davies/PA)

“She’s fresh and well, (and) she deserves the chance to get some black type. That’s what we’re trying to do.

“I’m looking forward to seeing her run. I’m not saying she’s definitely going to win, but she’ll put up a good show.”

Roger Varian’s Setarhe, second to another Burke-trained filly Dandalla in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, is among Gift List’s rivals – along with unexposed types including Little Kitten, Little Rollright, and Love Is You.

Wonderful Tonight in line for Champions Day appearance

David Menuisier is leaning towards running Wonderful Tonight in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

With ground conditions set to suit the daughter of Le Havre at the Berkshire track, the Pulborough handler rates her a “60-40” chance of contesting the mile-and-a-half Group One.

Having finished fifth on her Group One debut in the Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp, the Christopher Wright-owned mare opened her account at the top level back at the Parisian track in the Prix de Royallieu.

Menuisier said: “She seems like she has come out of the Royallieu well. She is buzzing and feeling great, jumping around and kicking around.

“At the moment I’m 60-40 to give it a go. The ground is soft with the chance of a little more rain, then it is going to be dry for most of the week but I don’t think it will dry that much.

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“She seems like she will have all her conditions, but we will make the decision when we have to on Thursday. If I’m 60-40 now and all goes well over the next couple of days then we will run her.”

Looking beyond the end of this season Menuisier could give Wonderful Tonight a campaign geared around next year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, after receiving the news she will stay in training in 2021.

He added: “She will stay in training next year and the aim could be the Arc. I think she could have been competitive in it this year in hindsight, but there is no point thinking about it now.

“The main thing this year was to try to get a Group One under her belt and the next year we can do what we like. She has definitely picked up the position of flagbearer for next season.”

Meanwhile, Menuisier is considering Group One options at Saint-Cloud later this month for Salisbury scorer Belloccio.

He said: “He will have an entry in both the Criterium International and the Criterium de Saint-Cloud. If is all well between now and then we will give it some thought, but if I have any doubts I will just put him away.

“Historically the mile-and-a-quarter race has been the weaker of the two and it has lacked a bit of depth and last year there were only two runners in it.

“I think he will stay well, he could have easily gone a couple of extra furlongs at Salisbury and he seems to handle soft ground.”

A trip to Newbury for the Group Three Cancom Stakes, better known as the Horris Hill, is on the cards for Autumn Twilight ahead of going under the hammer at the Autumn Horses In Training Sale at Tattersalls.

Menuisier said: “I think the plan for Autumn Twilight is the Horris Hill. I think it is a good spot. He is very genuine and professional and he goes on soft ground.

“He is entered in the sales after the Horris Hill and that could give us an idea of where we are.”