Chandler has high hopes for Hoof It

A NO-nonsense golf guru, Andy ‘Chubby’ Chandler is not averse to telling some of his players to hoof it when their egos get the better of them.

A portly figure, he is also used to dealing with competitors who are used to answering questions about their weight – Chandler, after all, has guided the career of newly-crowned Open champion Darren Clarke.

Now the sports agent hopes his Yorkshire-trained horse Hoof It can defy the welter burden of 10st in the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood today.

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Chandler jointly-owns the in-form speedster with world No 2 golfer Lee Westwood, but the four-year-old will have to put up a mega weight-carrying performance if Hoof It is to land one of the season’s most competitive sprint handicaps. Trained at Sheriff Hutton by Mick Easterby, Hoof It warmed up for this Herculean task with an emphatic victory at York last Saturday, but picked up a 6lb weight penalty as a consequence.

“It’s a tough race and I hope he goes in Group races after this,” said Chandler, whose golf stable also includes the US Open champion Rory McIlroy.

“Taking on 30 or so horses every time it’s not much fun. Mick is old-fashioned and wants to go for these big handicaps all the time.

“I think we should go for bigger and better races now, even if we don’t win, to see how good he is.

“There seems to be a difference of opinion as to whether he will like the course or not. Mick’s pretty certain he will and Kieren Fallon says he will so that will do for me.”

Victoire De Lyphar is one of six horses representing Dandy Nicholls, who has won this race both as a jockey and a trainer.

His son, Adrian, has chosen to ride Middleham Park Racing’s four-year-old, who has yet to hit form this season. However, there are signs the horse is on the way back to his best.

Tim Palin, the owners’ racing manager, said: “He worked well on Wednesday morning for the first time this year and Dandy’s horses are running a lot better now.

“Our horse is well handicapped now. He has beaten Hoof It in the past but whereas he is at the peak of his powers we are finding our feet.”

Thirsk-based Nicholls is also represented by Docofthebay – the mount of man-of-the-moment Tom Queally who is looking to complete a memorable week following Frankel’s triumph in the Qipco Sussex Stakes.

Having teamed up successfully for Nicholls, and owner Paul Dixon, on Askaud earlier this week, he hopes Docoftheday can also reward the loyalty of Yorkshire connections.

“Paul’s been a great supporter of mine since I’ve been riding in the UK, and it’s always good to try and repay his faith in me,” Queally wrote on his weekly internet blog.

Earlier Queally rides Frankel’s stablemate Midday in the Nassau Stakes where Snow Fairy – last year’s Oaks heroine – looks the filly to beat.

Queally, however, is ready for the challenge. “She’s a mare I’m extremely fond of, and no wonder, given she’s supplied me with five Group 1 wins, two of which came in this race,” added the jockey.

“This looks her toughest test in the race so far. Snow Fairy is a top-notch filly, as she proved when winning two Oaks and then championship races in Japan and Hong Kong, but we have comfortably beaten her before so hopefully we can confirm that.”

Given the quality of the Nassau field, Malton trainer Richard Fahey will be happy if his well-regarded Barefoot Lady, second in York’s Musidora Stakes earlier this season, makes the frame.

“It is a wonderful race and if she can finish in the first three or four then I would be delighted,” said Fahey. “Strictly on form, that is probably the best we can do and we need some of the rivals to underperform for her to have a chance of winning but we will take our chance.”

n Borderlescott will not run again this season after he was found to have a pelvic injury.

The dual Nunthorpe Stakes winner, twice the Yorkshire horse of the year, has a hairline fracture on his pelvis and will need plenty of box rest to recover.

However, it is possible the nine-year-old sprinter could continue his racing career next year.

“I’m going to see the owners and see what they want to do. I think he’ll be all right to come back next year. I don’t see why not,” said Wetherby trainer Robin Bastiman.

“At least we’ve found out what the problem was. There was something wrong when he ran at York last time as he kept changing his legs.”