Tabdeed is all set to return to action in the William Hill Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle.
Owen Burrows’ sprinter has had his fair share of problems throughout his career, but has shown on more than one occasion that he has plenty of talent – beating The Tin Man in last season’s Hackwood Stakes, before being bogged down in soft ground in Haydock’s Sprint Cup.
The five-year-old will make his seasonal reappearance in Saturday’s Group Three as one of three runners for owners Shadwell Estate – along with Roger Varian’s Khuzaam and the Charlie Hills-trained Khaadem.
Burrows said of Tabdeed: “It’s well documented he’s not been the easiest – but he ran well there last year, trying to give Glen Shiel weight in a handicap, so that was probably nigh on impossible!
“We know that he acts there on the surface, so you don’t have to worry about it being too quick or too soft.
“Obviously at Haydock, in the Sprint Cup, he never went a yard.”
Burrows is hoping Tabdeed can have a busier campaign as a six-year-old, but points out target races are not plentiful.
“It would be nice to have a good run at him this year, but he’s in the same boat as quite a few – there’s not a great programme for the Group Three sort of sprinter, hence Shadwell having three in the race on Saturday,” added the Lambourn trainer.
“Roger’s horse is dropping in trip, but has always shown speed, while Charlie’s is in a similar boat to us – not quite top-class, and there is a lack of races for them.”
Varian is looking forward to seeing how Khuzaam fares on his first start over six furlongs.
The Kitten’s Joy gelding won the All-Weather Mile at Lingfield on his penultimate start, before finishing a distant last of four behind Palace Pier at Sandown.
Varian said: “He has loads of pace. He won over seven furlongs at Chelmsford before stepping up to the mile at Lingfield.
“His work is as good as ever, and a stiff six furlongs at Newcastle on the Tapeta should suit him.
“It’s an experiment, but it’s an interesting one.”
Tabdeed and Khuzaam are joined at the head of the market by Clive Cox’s Diligent Harry.
The three-year-old makes his first appearance since impressing on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield, having missed an intended appearance in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last week because of the rain-softened ground.
“Conditions didn’t allow us to run at Ascot, and that was it,” said Cox.
“He’s in good form. This is a nice option for him, against older horses obviously.
“He’s proven on the all-weather, and it’s a good step to take at this point. He’s rated 105, and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to go to Newcastle after the ground meant Ascot was not a possibility.”