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Monday April 24

Alan, who hopes to sign off the jumps season with a winner at Sandown’s final meeting on Saturday, courtesy of either Fidux or Timoteo in the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle or/and The Unit in the last race, is readying himself for an all-out assault on the Flat through the summer, and victory for William Hunter in the Great Metropolitan Handicap at Epsom on Wednesday would be a good start.

For more than a century this once-prestigious handicap, now run over a mile and a half, used to be unique in that it was staged over two and a quarter miles of the historic Surrey Downs, starting at the winning post, travelling back down the track for three furlongs before taking a right-hand turn into the infield, crossing the centre of the downs before rejoining the main course a mile from home.

However, this trip will be much more William Hunter’s bag, and, assessing his chance, Alan said:”He will be a lot sharper for his comeback run in the Rosebery on the all-weather at Kempton. Following his winter break he had a good blow afterwards, and going back up to a mile and a half should suit him well.”

The Barbury team continue to run well, and The Tourard Man kept the jumping ball rolling when winning at Warwick yesterday.

Alan said:”The Tourard Man deserved that, having finished fourth in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham and then run creditably at the Aintree Festival. He had a decent break last winter so is still relatively fresh, and the key to him is good ground. For that reason, we’ll definitely keep him going through the summer, and Kevin Dowling has struck up a good rapport with him.”