Talented trio in Spring Mile at Doncaster
Ballet Concerto, Sacred Act and Nimr missed the cut for the Lincoln but will instead lock horns in the consolation race at Doncaster on Saturday, the Betway Spring Mile.
For connections of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Ballet Concerto, who has been absent since September, it was especially galling to miss out on the Lincoln as he now races for less prize-money but also carries top weight.
Owner Saeed Suhail’s racing manager Bruce Raymond said: “It’s a pity he missed the Lincoln by one horse as the double-edged sword is he’s now got top weight in this.
“I haven’t actually seen that much of him but what I have seen of him he’s been leading Across The Stars in his work when Sir Michael was preparing him for Dubai, which unfortunately he had to miss.
“With that in mind, you’d think he’d be pretty fit.
“He got beat in a good race up at Thirsk and that was on soft ground, so if there’s cut that shouldn’t be a problem.
Sport race information Talented trio
“There are 22 runners so you can’t be confident, but we’re hoping for better things form him this year and that there’s more improvement in him.”
Sacred Act, trained by John Gosden, was last seen winning at Sandown in September, while Richard Fahey’s Nimr is on a hat-trick after back-to-back victories at Wolverhampton during the winter.
The white and black silks of Nick Bradley Racing are becoming a more frequent sight on British racecourses after the bloodstock agent broke away from Middleham Park Racing.
Bradley has two representatives in the Jamie Osborne-trained Raising Sand and Roger Fell’s Strong Steps.
He said: “We picked Raising Sand up from the July Sales because I had a theory that there was improvement in him if he stepped up in trip, and that is how it proved.
“The track will suit him, ground conditions will suit him and he’s working very well.
“It looks a hot race and I imagine there’s half a dozen going there who will think they’ll win, but he’s got a good chance.
“Strong Steps we picked up for not very much (8,000 guineas) at the horses-in-training sale as he’d had a few problems.
“He was Galileo Gold’s lead-horse last year for Hugo Palmer and then they roughed him off in August.
“There’s been no sign of his problems this year and while he’s working well, if he’s working well enough to win a race like this first time out I’d have my doubts.
“We’re expecting to know a lot more about him after this.”
Right down at the bottom of the weights is the mud-loving Sinfonietta, whose trainer David Menuisier said: “He’s crept in, which was the first hurdle, and now we just need a lot more rain.
“I know he’s in good enough form to run well if conditions suit.
“After he won at Nottingham off a low mark, despite a massive rise in the weights, he ran well – though never got his ground.
“He was running consistently well all season but the ground was never really soft enough.
“The only time he disappointed was on his final run and he scoped dirty the day after.
“He really does seem in great form so I just hope the ground is soft enough, and obviously you need a bit of luck with 22 runners.
“There’s no grand plan with him as he’s so ground dependant, but he’ll be competitive in all the big one-mile races if he gets his ground.”
Last year’s winner Lord of The Rock, Examiner and Holiday Magic are others with strong claims.