Sawtry farmer hoping for Hunter Chase success in Stratford, Thorney trainer Pam Sly’s star mare Eileendover in action at Haydock Park
The four-year-old had looked a potential superstar in the making having won her first three starts in National Hunt ‘bumper’ races. Wide-margin successes at Huntingdon and Wetherby were followed by a smooth six and a half-length win in Listed company at Market Rasen in January, leading Eileendover to be rated as one of the most exciting young horses trained in Britain.
However, the Canford Cliffs filly blotted her copybook slightly when only fourth at Aintree in a Grade Two Mares’ Bumper, despite going off as the even money favourite. Sly, who also bred and owns Eileendover felt the trip just caught out her stable star at the Liverpool track, suggesting: “I don’t think she got the trip.”
The Classic winner trainer is now relishing a return trip to Merseyside for tonight’s Novice Stakes over 12 furlongs, which gets underway at 6.10pm.
Shane Kelly has been booked to ride Eileendover who is the general 4/6 favourite for the contest as she looks to make a winning debut on the Flat. Despite having to give her seven rivals weight, Eileendover looks the star of the show and should have too much class for her rivals.
The list of dangers is headed by Golden Viola (5/1) who scored on the All-Weather at Lingfield on her first start and has the services of James Doyle in the saddle.
Some of the sport’s powerhouses also have runners, with Qatar Racing saddling the unexposed Thousand Oaks (5/1) who finished a good third on her debut at Kempton. Juddmonte Farms run debutant Yesyes (8/1), whilst Godolphin rely on Opening Scene (25/1) who shaped with promise at Salisbury last time out.
The field is completed by Constanta (9/1), a good fifth on debut) and the outsiders of the field, 33/1 chance Nushafreen and 100/1 shot Novel Idea.
There is further local representation at Stratford where Sawtry-based farmer Dale Peters targets successive victories over course and distance with Law Of Gold in the 6.55pm, the £20,000 Stratford Foxhunters Champion Hunters’ Chase.
The eight-year-old was a winner at the track at this meeting in 2019 when capturing the Champion Novices’ Hunters’ Chase and is back for more riches on a night where solely amateurs take centre-stage.
Law Of Gold, a son of Gold Well, was a smart winner under Peters at Fontwell earlier this month and is a 12/1 shot for this assignment.
The list of dangers are headed by the Paul Nicholls-trained duo Bob And Co (5/6f) and Adrien Du Pont (13/8). Bob And Co provided popular amateur David Maxwell with the biggest success of his career when landing the Champion Hunters Chase at the Punchestown Festival in April, whilst Adrien Du Pont has the services of Gold Cup winning jockey Sam Waley-Cohen and bids to back up two effortless victories at Newbury and Kempton.
Peters is a regular winning jockey on the Point-to-Point circuit. His win on Law of Gold at Fontwell was his first
under National Hunt Rules this season. He has nine career wins in total, but over 100 in both codes.
Peters, who also trains horses, delivered his 100th winner under both codes at Melton in 2019 and his 100th winner in Point-to-Point races at Revesby Park in January, 2020.