Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alfonso Can Keep Up Hills' Run in Festivals

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alfonso Can Keep Up Hills' Run in Festivals

Article excerpt

Byline: By Doug Moscrop

There are certain festivals Barry Hills seems to target every year, such as the Lincoln and St Leger at Doncaster, the Chester Cup, and the Western meeting which opens at Ayr today.

Rarely does the Lambourn trainer leave Scotland empty-handed at this time of year and he looks to have excellent prospects of landing the Audi A8 Classic Handicap with Alfonso.

After being gelded, Alfonso had been off since early May when he reappeared at Newmarket last month and made the in-form My Paris pull out all the stops before she was able to complete her hat-trick.

The ground was on the easy side and Alfonso will encounter similar conditions today, while the way he was finishing points to him appreciating this extra furlong. He has gone up 4lb for that improved effort but is lightly raced and probably has a lot more improvement than most of his rivals.

Poppys Footprint came from last to first at Thirsk to end a disappointing run but it remains to be seen whether she can build on that. I have more faith in She's Our Lass and Eboracum reproducing their solid recent runs to pose as bigger threats to Alfonso.

While Mynd has a bit to prove since his two all-weather wins at Wolverhampton and turf success at Ripon earlier in the year, he has dropped to a handy mark again and is worth an interest for the All New Audi A6 Handicap.

He is 3lb lower than his last win and cut in the ground is the ideal surface for him. The last time we saw him in action was at Beverley 19 days ago when he was never a factor after experiencing traffic problems and I fancy him to turn the tables on Kings College Boy and Roman Mistress, who finished ahead of him that day.

A high draw could count against Trojan Flight, William's Well and Aahgowangowan, but on the other side it would be no surprise to see Regal Song suddenly bounce back to form with everything in his favour.

Although Fair Shake has never won over seven furlongs, it's worth another try in the Allroad Challenge Handicap. …

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