Ground is key to the Lark’s race chances

MICHAEL Bell is keen to let Epsom Oaks third The Lark take her chance in the DFS Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster today as long as he is happy with the ground.

The daughter of Pivotal, owned by Lady Bamford, has an alternative engagement in Sunday’s Prix Vermeille at Longchamp but Bell would like to run her nearer home.

The Newmarket trainer is also interested in giving his charge the opportunity to run over an extended mile and three-quarters, and will be encouraged that the going was described as ‘good to soft’ after the first race yesterday following significant rain.

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“We are very much hoping for rain for The Lark. She is obviously at home with cut in the ground,” said Bell ahead of today’s Ladies’ Day highlight.

“Her dam stayed well so we’ve got to be hopeful she’ll get the trip and she looks in good order at home. We’re keen to run and she will as long as I’m happy with the ground. It’s due to rain but if the ground went the other way we want to keep our options open, so we left her in the Vermeille.”

In contrast Bell’s other runner Bite Of The Cherry is better on quick ground and she was a respectable sixth in this race last year. “She loves fast ground so we are hoping for the best for her, so from her point of view she doesn’t want the rain,” he said. “I’m hoping the ground will just be a really nice racing surface and she’s all geared up.”

The ground is also of concern to Coquet’s trainer Hughie Morrison.

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She struggles on soft going but Morrison is hoping conditions will not be too bad for the Sir Percy filly.

“We feel she will run well, but it really depends on the ground,” said the East Ilsley handler. “It depends how bad the ground gets. I think it is always going to be a struggle for her in the autumn because the tracks water in the summer and the ground falls apart when it rains. I hope she shows her best and what she is capable of.”

Veteran trainer Clive Brittain says his Moyglare heroine Rizeena, one of jockey James Doyle’s many big race successes this year, will reappear at Newmarket later this month in either the Shadwell Fillies’ Mile on September 28 or the seven-furlong Connolly’s Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes a day later. “Rizeena has been amazing since she came back from Ireland. She has put all her weight back plus another nine kilos,” he said.

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