Posts

Desert Dreamer aiming to deliver in Ascot assignment

Stuart Williams’ Desert Dreamer will bid to return to winning ways in the Group Three Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes at Ascot.

The two-year-old began her career with successive victories at Newmarket before making the step up to Group Two level in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, where she finished 10th of 21 runners.

Two trips to the July course at Newmarket then followed, where she finished just a neck behind System in the Listed Empress Fillies’ Stakes and was then the runner-up again when losing out to Sandrine in the Group Two Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes.

“We were very happy with her run in the Duchess Of Cambridge,” said Newmarket trainer Williams.

“She seems to have come out of the race really well, so we’re looking forward to running her on Saturday.

“She’s very tough and she takes her racing really well.

“I don’t think she’s ground dependent really. She obviously goes on fast ground, but she won on good ground earlier in the year so I wouldn’t mind it if it were good or even good to soft – it wouldn’t bother her at all.”

Karl Burke’s Attagirl also lines up after a convincing four-length victory in a Haydock maiden this month.

Her trainer expects further improvement.

“I think a lot of her,” said Burke.

“She’s a lovely filly, and I’m looking forward to seeing her run – she seems in great shape.

“She was impressive (at Haydock), and we think she can improve on that, so we’re very much looking forward to it.”

El Hadeeyah represents James Tate’s yard and will again cross paths with Desert Dreamer, who beat her into third when the two made their racecourse debuts in a Newmarket maiden in April.

She suffered two more defeats in May, but claimed her first victory on the all-weather track at Lingfield.

“She’s a filly we’ve always liked,” said Tate.

“She showed a lot of promise on her first run at Newmarket when she was third behind Desert Dreamer.

“Then she got lost a little bit on her next two starts, when the ground was softer than ideal, but she was back to form on the fast Polytrack at Lingfield last time.

“We thought we’d go black-type hunting in this race – six furlongs will suit her well if they don’t get too much rain.

“Fast ground should suit, and we’re hopeful for a good run.”

Richard Hannon’s System is well fancied, having beaten Desert Dreamer in the Empress Stakes, with Archie Watson’s Nazanin bringing a victory on her sole start at Newbury to the table.

Tom Dascombe’s Delmona is also engaged after her third place in the Super Sprint at Newbury last week.

Clive Cox’s Crazyland, Ismail Mohammed’s Zain Claudette, Rebecca Menzies’ winning Doncaster debutante Miss Calculation and George Boughey’s Sassy Rascal complete the field of 11.

Marco Ghiani keeps his name in lights at Lingfield

Red-hot apprentice Marco Ghiani continued his sensational run of form with a double at Lingfield on Tuesday.

Since booting home two winners at Southwell on New Year’s Day, the Italian-born jockey had added further successes at Wolverhampton and Lingfield to take his recent record to five winners from his last seven rides ahead of his return to the Surrey circuit.

The 5lb claimer kept the run going with victory aboard the Amy Murphy-trained Jennivere in the Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Handicap, with the 100-30 chance clinging on by a short head from Nozieres.

Murphy said: “She’s a tough little filly and she deserved that as she probably should have won the last day – she just ran out of time.

“She’s a home-bred, so it’s great to get a second win on the board for her.

“Marco is riding out of his skin and is definitely a jockey to follow.”

An hour later, Ghiani successfully combined with boss Stuart Williams as Passional completed her hat-trick in fine style in the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap.

Bought for just 5,500 guineas out of Simon and Ed Crisford’s yard in October, the daughter of Footstepsinthesand was placed on her first two starts for Williams, before bolting up at Southwell last month.

Having followed up at Wolverhampton on Saturday, Passional was the 8-15 favourite under a 5lb penalty and quickened up smartly to score by a length and a half.

Williams, saddling a fifth winner from his last five runners, said: “I think she was a bit unlucky in a few of her races for Simon and our family actually bred her, so we always kept an eye on her progress.

“When she went to the sales we said we’d try to buy her back and see if we could win a couple of races with her. It’s worked out well.”

Passional (centre) charges home at Lingfield
Passional (centre) charges home at Lingfield (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

On Ghiani, the Newmarket handler added: “He’s doing really well. He had a really good year two years ago and I didn’t want him to ride his claim out through the winter, so I sent him over to Brendan Walsh in America, just to ride trackwork for three or four months.

“He came back just before the start of the season here last year and obviously we went straight into lockdown. He ended up not riding for about seven months and lost all the contacts that he’d built up the year before, so in hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do.

“It’s just taken him a while to build his contacts back up again. My horses weren’t in spectacular form after the lockdown either, so little things like that conspired against him.

“Now we’re in better form, Marco has been around for a bit longer and is getting more rides off other people and it’s all come together.”

Elsewhere on the card, the Roger Varian-trained La Tihaty (10-11 favourite) went one better than when runner-up on his course and distance debut with an emphatic victory in the Ladbrokes Watch Racing Online For Free Novice Stakes.