William Buick looks for redemption on Gallant Lion at Carlisle tomorrow

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June 25

June is always a quiet month for Barbury, but we have celebrated three winners – two over jumps and one on the Flat – in the last 10 days, and if Lady Luck accompanies Gallant Lion on the long trip to Carlisle tomorrow, then we might well be popping the corks to acknowledge another winner.

Gallant Lion’s target is the prestigious Cumberland Plate, for which Alan has again booked champion jockey William Buick, who was aboard when the pair saw less daylight than you’d find down a Barnsley coal mine when finishing an unlucky fourth in a mile and a quarter handicap at Sandown 11 days ago.

For two and a half furlong up the Esher straight, Buick desperately sought to escape from the far rail, but it was only in the last 100 yards that he broke free. Sadly, the race was as good as over at that point, but Gallant Lion stormed home, finishing only a length behind runner-up Born Ruler, who renews rivalry at Carlisle.

Gallant Lion will appreciate going back up a furlong, and Buick, who was in great form at Pontefract on Sunday, riding three winners, is eager to make amends.

Stormy Lady, home-bred by the Barbury Lions team, is our first two-year-old runner of the season at Ffos Las tomorrow. She is by Planteur, who is also the sire of our stable-star Trueshan, 15 times a winner but for the fourth successive year denied a first opportunity of running in last week’s Ascot Gold Cup when the promised rain never materialised.

Also entered this week is Implacable, Primitivo‘s half-sister who is a possible for owner-breeders Lesley Field and Aidan Murphy at Leicester on Thursday, though he is also in at Wolverhampton next Sunday,

And we must not forget Crystal Moon, who has been a model of consistency this season, winning at Huntingdon and Hereford and being placed in all his other five races. June Watts’s seven-year-old is engaged at Bangor on Friday.

Casting our eyes to the Saturday entries, we have Spartan Army and Westerton engaged in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle, though Westerton also has an entry at Windsor the same day, while also a possible for Gosforth Park is Winter Reprise, who belied his odds of 50-1 when running an encouraging race to finish third at Newbury last month.

Loughville was impressive when winning at Wetherby three weeks ago, and, though she has taken a 10lb hike in the weights, the mare, home-bred by the Glebe Farm Stud, would be interesting if turning out again at Chester on Saturday.