Racing on Sunday in the UK and Ireland comes from Cork, Ffos Las, Goodwood and Naas.
One of last season’s leading novice hurdlers makes a return to action in the Welsh Champion Hurdle and he can make a winning start to his new campaign for trainer Olly Murphy.
Goodwood 13:50 – Havaila @ 3/1
Dual purpose runner HAVAILA has yet to score on the Flat, but he has gone close to success, including when he was second of 11 runners at this course on his penultimate outing over 1m6f.
The four-year-old gelding will relish the ‘Heavy’ ground at Goodwood, as his best form has come when conditions have been testing. He has also been successful over 2m4f in National Hunt Racing, so stamina will not be a problem for him.
Milton Harris’ gelding features on the Betfred Betfinder as one of the Most Napped selections today. This mark of 76 looks very workable for him and he should be fresh again, as he has had a break since June.
Ffos Las 15:20 – Strong Leader @ 11/4
STRONG LEADER was one of the leading novice hurdlers in the UK last season. He was victorious three times, while he ended the campaign by finishing second to Inthepocket in the Grade One Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.
Olly Murphy’s gelding returns to action in the Welsh Champion Hurdle where he will need to carry top weight. He has been given an opening handicap mark of 143, which may prove lenient if he steps up on what he produced last season.
The six-year-old goes well fresh and this 2m top is his preferred distance. Sean Bowen takes up the ride, and he continues to be in excellent form himself as he bids for an opening Jockeys’ Championship. They look like the ones to beat in the feature race at Ffos Las.
Naas 15:25 – Gather Ye Rosebuds @ 4/1
Trainer Jack Channon has opted to make the trip across to Ireland with GATHER YE ROSEBUDS for this Listed contest over 1m4f. The daughter of Zoffany is stepping up in distance here and we could see further improvement from her over this trip.
The three-year-old filly began her career with a large margin success at Newbury (1m2f) on ‘Soft’ ground. She showed no signs of inexperience in that race, and as the contest went on, she appeared stronger.
Channon’s runner then featured in the Musidora Stakes at York, but conditions were far too quick for the Newbury winner. Her connections wisely held her back until August and she bounced back when there was some give in the ground at Hamilton (1m3f).
There has been plenty of rain at Naas ahead of this meeting which means the going is described as ‘Soft to Heavy’. One of the leading Irish jockeys Seamie Heffernan has been booked in the saddle, so she has a great chance of making it a successful trip across the Irish Sea.