Dexter seeks Cammidge repeat
Jack Dexter bids for his fourth course success when he attempts to land back-to-back victories in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday.
The five-year-old is burdened with a 5lb penalty for a Group Three triumph in the Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle last summer, which trainer Jim Goldie hopes will not stop him from following up.
"He seems in similar form to last year. He has more weight to carry than last year, but he carried the penalty when he won the Wentworth Stakes on his last run in November," said Goldie.
"He likes the course, he likes the distance and the ground, so hopefully he'll run well."
Mass Rally was only beaten a head by Jack Dexter in that Newcastle race. While his trainer Michael Dods reports the seven-year-old to be ready for his first run of the campaign he expects him to come on for the run - and also feels his seasoned sprinter is better suited in a race with more runners.
"He's in good form, but he seems to come to himself later on in the season. He looks well and will improve for the run," said the Darlington handler.
"The only thing in these Listed and Group races is there's not a lot of runners and he seems to be a better horse in a big-field handicap when they go flat out."
Tropics also has a 5lb penalty, for his win in the Group Three Bengough Stakes at Ascot on his final start of 2013.
His trainer Dean Ivory has him in good heart for his seasonal debut and is using this race as a stepping-stone to the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket next month.
"He's very well. Ideally, like a lot of trainers, I could have done with another week or two. We lost a bit over the winter with all that rain, so we're chasing a little bit of time," said Ivory.
"He's not 100 per cent, but he's not far off it and hopefully he'll go for the Abernant at Newmarket on the 17th (of April) and if nothing else it will be a prep race for that.
"It's a good place to start. They've changed the ground to soft and I'm not overly worried. He does appreciate a bit of cut in the ground. It should be OK and I expect a big run."
Maureen took on the best of her sex and generation last year, including in both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas and drops back to six furlongs for the first time since her two-year-old days.
She is taking on colts and geldings for the first time but Richard Hannon believes her class could see her through.
"Maureen reverts to sprinting for the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster, and, though it will be tough for a filly taking on the colts so early in the year, she is in very good form," he told www.richardhanonracing.co.uk.
"She won the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot as a two-year-old, so we know that she has the class, and, having captured the Fred Darling at Newbury when we tried her over seven (furlongs) for her first run last year, we had to give her a chance of classic glory.
"She ran well in both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas and also the Coronation at Royal Ascot, but she has so much speed that we think it is worth going back to sprinting to start with, and this is a big drop in grade for her."