Tony Martin is confident Flemenstar is fit enough to do himself justice as he makes his eagerly anticipated comeback in the Webster Cup at Navan on Saturday.
The multiple Grade One-winning chaser has been sidelined by injury since making a winning debut for the County Meath-based trainer in the Fortria Chase at Navan in November 2013, but has been nursed back to fitness by owner Stephen Curran.
Preparations for California Chrome, the hot favourite for Saturday's $10million Dubai World Cup, took an unexpected turn this morning when his regular work rider Willie Delgado failed to show up for the horse's last gallop.
The vagaries of race planning have never been more evident than in the staging of today’s two jumps fixtures at Wetherby and Newcastle. Quite why we need two identical meetings in the north on a Friday is a mystery but there we are, and maybe Neil Mulholland can land the Wetherby bumper (4.30) with the well-regarded Shantou Village.
With around $30million in prize money across the card, Saturday’s World Cup fixture is not to be sniffed at, as Meydan stages the first big international meeting of 2015. With the notable exception of Australia, every major racing jurisdiction on the planet will be represented in the desert on Saturday, and horses from five different countries meet in the $10million Dubai World Cup, the official feature.
Qipco and others may embark on spirited attempts to change the face of the flat season for the greater good, but for the majority of traditionalists there will only ever be one starter-gun to the flat season and that is the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster this weekend. As usual, there are some significant gambles developing….