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Ayr and Warwick previews: Queen can rule in Rothesay Stakes

| 18.05.2016

David Metcalf | May 18, 2016

Maleficent Queen for five-timer in Ayr feature

Maleficent Queen has an ultra progressive profile and can take the step up into Listed company in her stride to land the 1m 2f Rothesay Stakes on today’s card at Ayr (16:20).

After finishing a highly promising runner-up on her debut, the Keith Dalgleish trained filly has rattled-up a four-timer in impressive fashion.

This four-year-old has constantly defied the handicapper, and made light of top weight to make a winning reappearance over 1m 2f Pontefract last month.


Maleficent Queen raced keenly in the early stages and, after taking up the running four furlongs from home, quickly established a three-length lead two out when travelling hard on the bridle.

The daughter of Mount Nelson then only had to be shaken-up at the furlong marker to win readily by 1 1/2 lengths from Engage, who is a well-regarded sort and had finished fifth to subsequent 1000 Guineas third Alice Springs when last seen in action as a juvenile.

It was a cracking effort by Maleficent Queen, and one which suggested she needed keeping firmly onside and was well worth a crack at this level.

Alejandro the ace in the pack

In the 7f handicap (15:10), Alejandro can take advantage of a drop in class to score an overdue success.

The David O’Meara Trained gelding is on a long losing run having not scored since landing a class 2 contest at York back in July 2014 off a mark off 94.


However, he has run some really solid races in defeat and is now able to race off a reduced rating of just 85.

That gives the seven-year-old major claims from a handicapping perspective, especially now Alejandro drops into a 0-85 class 4 handicap for the first time since scoring over course and distance back in July 2013.

It represents by far the easiest task Alejandro has faced for a long time so, if ready to go at the first time of asking, the son of Dark Angel is going to be a tough nut to crack.

Ayr selections

13.30: Captain Hawk
14.00: Alba Dawn
14.35: Bogsnog
15.10: Alejandro (NB)
15.45: Grand Canyon
16.20: Maleficent Queen
16.55: Anonymous Lady
17.25: Intensified

The Tourard Man can follow-up at Warwick

The Tourard Man scored in terrific style last time out, and can make light of a rise in the weights to follow-up in the 3m 1f handicap on today’s card at Warwick (15:55).

Trained by Alan King, this gelding had some useful form to his name in 2014/15 when winning twice and finishing a cracking third of 23 to Call The Cops in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival off a mark of 135.

THE TOURARD MAN with R Johnson wins Novice Hurdle at Southwell 2-12-14.

The Tourard Man also ran well on the final start of that campaign when fifth of 21 to Taglietelle at Aintree in a class 1 contest off 139 and, after a couple of below par efforts, took advantage of a drop in the weights to get back to winning ways at Exeter earlier in the month.

After showing plenty of pace to race kindly on the heels of the leaders, the seven-year-old took up the running three from home and powered clear to win easily by nine lengths off a mark of 132.

The Tourard Man has been hit with a 7lb rise for that runaway victory, but that may well be on the lenient side.

It puts the son of Shantou on the same mark as when a cracking fifth at Aintree, and this class 3 contest is far less competitive.

Beatabout The Bush weighted to go well

Race horse trainer GRAEME MCPHERSON.

Trainer Graeme McPherson has landed a couple of gambles in recent weeks, and Beatabout The Bush is a fascinating contender on debut for him in the 2m handicap hurdle (17:05).

The gelding landed back-to-back contests at Wetherby and Sedgefield back in January 2015 when in the care of Henry Oliver, with the last of those successes coming off a rating of 120.

Beatabout The Bush was out up to 130 after that victory, but is now able to race off a mark of just 113.

It makes the five-year-old dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form, and McPherson is a shrewd cookie capable of placing him to exploit it.

With the ground and trip both fine, Beatabout The Bush looks weighted to run a huge race at a big price.

Warwick selections

14.10: Midnight Tour
14.45: Presenting Lisa
15.20: Letemgo
15.55: The Tourard Man (NAP)
16.30: Owen Na View
17.05: Beatabout The Bush (NB)
17.35: River Wylde


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.