DANNY TUDHOPE already knows what it takes to win a Group One race on the Rowley Mile at Newcastle after prevailing just six days ago on the Karl Burke-trained Laurens.
Now the North Yorkshire rider has a chance to add to his tally after replacing the soon-to-be three-times champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa on Pretty Pollyanna in today’s Fillies’ Mile.
This, ironically, is the race that saw Laurens win the first of her five Group One successes 12 months ago.
While Tudhope was the beneficiary of PJ McDonald’s injury misfortune in last month’s Matron Stakes and last weekend’s Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket, he is one of the country’s pre-eminent riders – hence the call-up by Pretty Pollyanna’s trainer Michael Bell.
The two-year-old was a brilliant winner of the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes on Newmarket’s July Course three months ago and a follow-up victory in the Prix Morny at Deauville confirmed her place as ante-post favourite for next season’s 1000 Guineas.
However, her reputation took a knock when she could only finish fourth in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago and she steps up to a mile for the first time today.
“We’re very happy with her well-being. She’s had a relatively easy time since the Cheveley Park, but Danny came and sat on her on Saturday during a couple of canters up Warren Hill and he was very happy,” said Bell.
“We think she should stay seven furlongs, but we are going into uncharted territory over the mile. It’s 440 yards further than she’s been before, but I’m hopeful regarding the trip and we’re looking forward to it.”
Tom Dascombe hopes Proschema can prevail in the £100,000 RaceBets Handicap, today’s highlight at York.
Proschema will be making his second appearance of the season at York after finishing a very creditable third in the Melrose Stakes at the Ebor festival in August.
The three-year-old colt was then unplaced behind Kew Gardens in the St Leger at Doncaster.
Eased in grade for his latest assignment, Dascombe is hoping his charge can be very competitive over a course and distance – a mile and three-quarters – for which he has previously shown a liking. “Proschema has run well at York before. I think this is a more realistic target, maybe, than the Leger,” said the trainer. “But we wanted to have a go and he ran really well. He probably ran the race of his life.”
“We’re very excited, hoping that he can keep up his consistent level of form and give us one more good effort in what would be a real nice race to win before the end of the season. He goes on any ground, but he handles soft where other horses don’t so I think any rain will probably help us.”
Proschema, who runs in the colours of the Empire State Racing Partnership, is already under consideration for next year’s £1m Ebor.
Sue Smith’s I Just Know, a faller when leading this year’s Grand National, could reappear at Wetherby’s season-opening meeting next Wednesday. The horse is entered in a novice hurdle on a card that could see stablemate Cracking Find contest the feature Bobby Renton Chase.
The Smith-trained Midnight Shadow, victorious in the Scottish Champion Hurdle under Danny Cook, has been handed a handicap hurdle entry.
Ahead of this season Wetherby has spent in excess of £150,000 on further upgrades. This includes £50,000 worth of new drainage to the course as well as repairs to internal roads and car parks.