Harbour Lake will relish the good ground at Haydock on Saturday

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May 10

A quiet week for Barbury, but second places with Irish Chorus (Warwick) and Menaggio (Kempton) confirm that the horses remain in form, and we may yet have a winner waiting in the wings.

Whispering Royal, who ran well over hurdles during the winter, winning at Doncaster, made an encouraging return after two months off when finishing a respectable fourth at Fakenham in March. He switches back to the Flat in the apprentice  handicap at Chester today, with young Brandon Wilkie taking the ride.

Alan said:”Whispering Royal looked the second best horse in the race at Fakenham, but did not quite get home, He had missed a fair bit of work before that as he had been on the sick list, and he had some fair form on the level last summer, so we are hoping he’ll again be competitive.”

Harbour Lake has been a lot happier since he reverted to timber after a couple of tries over fences, and he has a solid each-way chance in the Pertemps Long Distance Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.

Alan said:”The drier ground should suit Harbour Lake, who shaped as if he wanted a step up in trip when fifth at Kempton and then duly confirmed that impression when runner-up to the in-form Zain Nights over three miles at Cheltenham last month. He finished third in the Greatwood Hurdle when he had good ground at Cheltenham 18 months ago.”