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Polar Ben out to make it third time lucky in Trophy.

1.20 Stanleybet Long Distance Handicap Hurdle (2m7 1 / 2 f) Notable runners HollandPark, a winner at the Grand National meeting, bids for a hat-trick without the services of suspended regular rider Joe Tizzard. Mr Ed was also in action at Aintree, finishing second to Monet's Garden in the Liverpool Hurdle, in which Westender refused mid-race. Broken Knights is another chasing a three-timer, while The Persuader, controversially balloted out at Sandown a fortnight ago, starts from 10lb out of the handicap.

Quotes David Pipe, son of Martin Pipe, trainer of Westender, Quick and Mr Cool ``All three will like the ground. Westender seems in good form, but it was one of those things at Aintree. He keeps a few out of the handicap and I'm sure he'll be in a better frame of mind, while I wouldn't have thought Mr Cool has had only 10st4lb for ages.''

Peter Bowen, trainer of Mr Ed ``He'll like the ground and he'll like the track. This could be his last race over hurdles, as the plan is to give him three runs in novice chases this summer, so he'll have some experience when the better horses come out over fences.''

Sarah Williams, trainer of Holland Park ``This will be his last run before his holiday. He's gone up 10lb since Aintree and I'm sad we've not got Joe Tizzard, but you can't go wrong with Richard Johnson.''

Nicky Richards, trainer of Broken Knights ``He's a grand horse at the right end of the handicap and I just hope there's a little rain for him.''

Paul Nicholls, trainer of The Persuader ``He's out of the handicap, so we're taking 7lb off his back and, if he gets the trip, he'll have a chance.''2.20 Spring Trophy (Listed, 7f) Notable runners Polar Benmakes his third attempt to win this race, having been runner-up in the last two runnings, beaten half a length by Patsy's Double two years ago and shortheaded by Rockets 'n Rollers last year, when he had Quito back in sixth and Meshaheer last of nine in a steadily run contest. Quitohas been in top form at the age of eight, winning the Abernant Stakes over six furlongs last time from July Cup runner-up Ashdown Express.

Meshaheer, since transferred to Marcus Tregoning from Godolphin, had Quito back in third in a Listed race at Doncaster in October, but was behind St Petersburg on his first run for Tregoning in a similar race at Leicester last month. Welsh Emperorhas never won over this trip but has strong form over six furlongs and was third in this race two years ago.

Quotes James Fanshawe, trainer of Polar Ben ``He was too fresh and keen over a mile first time out, so we've dropped him back to seven furlongs.''

David Chapman, trainer of Quito ``The race was not run to suit last year and we will ride him a bit more with the pace this time.''

Marcus Tregoning, trainer of Meshaheer ``I was quite pleased with his first run for me, although I thought he would go a bit further than he did. That's my only reservation. He has been going quite well since, but he does come to hand later in the year.''

Mark Tompkins, trainer of St Petersburg ``All he's done is improve and soft ground and seven furlongs is what he wants.''

Tom Tate, trainer of Welsh Emperor ``He has not won over seven furlongs but it is worth another try, as the alternative over six was a Group 2 and he is not good enough for that.''
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 7, 2005
Previous Article:Quotes.
Next Article:Momtic has every chance of following up.

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