The once raced three year old Spanish Archer (15/8) was nominated as a horse to follow in the Royal Ascot Update and James Fanshawe's charge duly confirmed the promise he displayed on his debut by winning at Nottingham on Tuesday evening. The gelded son of Lope De Vega had finished a running on fourth at Colwick Park behind the useful Raa Atoll over the same course and distance in May. Returning to the Midlands track 88 days later, he led over a furlong out before staying on strongly to register a four and a half lengths win from Sir Michael Stoute's debutant Sextant. It will be interesting to see what initial rating he receives from the handicapper but he looks a decent sort who could win a nice prize later in the season. Not for the first time, his trainer's patience looks set to be rewarded.
I interviewed Olly Murphy this afternoon for One Jump Ahead. The Worcestershire based handler sent out 47 winners in his first season last winter, which was a terrific effort. With 18 already on the board this term, the rookie trainer looks set for another highly successful campaign. Gordon Elliott's former assistant has been busy recruiting fresh talent during the spring/summer. Interestingly, Olly has also taken charge of a former high-class novice hurdler who is back from injury and in work.
I am working at Pontefract tomorrow for Racing UK. There is sure to be a big crowd in attendance with it being Ladies day. The feature race is the twelve furlongs handicap, in which subsequent dual Cheltenham Festival winner Penhill finished second in three years ago.
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