Darby’s debut over fences
Thomas Darby, one of last season’s leading novice hurdlers, makes his chasing debut today at Warwick.
The six-year-old recorded victories at Cheltenham and Taunton before chasing home Klassical Dream in the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Trained by rising star Olly Murphy for Diana Whateley, Thomas Darby faces four rivals in the two-mile novices’ chase including stable companion Mon Port and mare Maire Banrigh, winner of her last three races.
Her Majesty’s Hexham runner
The Queen will have her first runner at Hexham today when the Charlie Longsdon-trained No Trumps contests the 2m7f handicap hurdle.
Her Majesty’s homebred heads into this race off the back of an impressive performance at Wetherby earlier this month, when she took a novices’ handicap hurdle by an impressive six lengths having been off the track for 227 days.
The five-year-old will face nine rivals today including The Horsechesnut, who struck in a three-mile chase at the venue back in March for the Jennie Candlish stable.
Fontwell also race over jumps today while all-weather cards are held at Chelmsford, Newcastle and Dundalk.
Cheveley announce 2020 fees
Cheveley Park Stud has revealed the fees for its stallions in 2020.
The operation’s stalwart Pivotal, the sire of 30 Group 1 winners, will be standing his 24th consecutive season next year at the age of 27. His fee remains private.
Group 1 winner Ulysses, who will have first yearlings next year, has had his fee trimmed from £17,500 to £15,000, while Mayson will stand at £5,000, down from £6,000 this year.
Haydock Sprint Cup hero Twilight Son, whose first crop of two-year-olds will debut next year, will stand at a reduced fee of £7,000 in 2020 – down from £8,000.
Dutch Art, sire of Group 1 heroine Mabs Cross, will once again stand at a private fee, while Unfortunately, who will stand at Springfield House Stud in Ireland next year, has had his fee set at €5,500.
Doncaster’s Saturday card under threat
Doncaster’s final meeting of the season on Saturday, which features the November Handicap, is at risk after officials called an 8am inspection for today due to incessant rain at the track.
Clerk of the Course Roderick Duncan, speaking to the Racing Post, said: “It’s going to be difficult. Before the rain I was thinking of possibly changing some of the course to better than soft in places.
“But we’ve continued to have more rain than was initially forecast and we’ll have to see how much more arrives, and how the weather forecast is shaping up for Saturday, when we look at the course.”