William Hunter returns in the Rosebery at Kempton

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Friday 31 March

Between Cheltenham and Aintree is always a quiet time for us, but we have an interesting runner on the polytrack tomorrow at Kempton in William Hunter, who runs in the £45,000 Rosebery Handicap, one of the most prestigious early-season races on the Sunbury course.

Alan, who hopes to have around 35 horses for the Flat this season with maybe up to a dozen two-year-olds, said:”William Hunter did us proud last summer and went from strength to strength, winning three races, including one at Ascot and also finishing fourth in the November Handicap at Doncaster.

“He has been off since so will obviously come on for this comeback after his winter break, but it looks a good place to start before we look to the turf season, and, though it’s his debut on the surface, he did run well on his one run on the all-weather at Southwell.”

We have a couple in the bumper at Stratford tomorrow, and Alan added:”I’d hope the rain stays away for both of them. Talkischeap, who was a useful point-to-pointer in Ireland, shaped with promise on his debut for us when finishing second at Warwick and I was pleased how well he ran next time when third at Newbury as the soft ground would not have suited him.

Mahlermade, who was balloted out of the sales bumper at Newbury last week-end and was then a late withdrawal from Warwick on Thursday because of the ground, makes his debut. He’s been a bit backward and, though he is starting to come to himself and is ready for a run, he’ll benefit from this experience.

“Finally, we have Beneagles going for the conditional jockeys handicap hurdle at Ascot on Sunday. It was only a two-horse race that he won at Huntingdon during Cheltenham week, but the other one was a useful one of Nicky Henderson’s, so, hopefully, he will again be competitive.”