Galiway camp feeling confident
Andre Fabre is "more hopeful than confident" about the chances of Galiway in Saturday's Worthington's Whizz Kids Stakes at Newbury.
The French maestro's cross-Channel raiders always demand the utmost respect and his latest challenger is particularly interesting given it is so late in the season and this event, better known as the Horris Hill, is a Group Three contest.
Galiway certainly looked the part when justifying odds-on favouritism on his only previous start in a Saint-Cloud maiden at the end of September and with Olivier Peslier travelling for the ride, he is bound to be a popular choice with punters in Berkshire this weekend.
Fabre said: "He is a promising two-year-old and I thought this would be a good opportunity for him to get some good experience, as there are not many races left for him in France.
"I want him to have another run this year without running in a Group One. I want to take things more slowly with him.
"For him to travel to England and see a new course will be good for him. Newbury is a nice course, so it will be a good opportunity for me to go there as well. I have had runners there before, but it was many years ago.
"The ground shouldn't be an issue for him. His dam (Danzigaway) loved soft ground.
"I hope he can run well, but I would be more hopeful than confident."
Richard Hannon launches a three-pronged assault, with the hat-trick seeking Piping Rock joined by stable companions Anticipated and Day Of Conquest.
Assessing their chances on his website www.richardhannonracing.co.uk, the champion trainer-elect said: "We are looking for our fifth Horris Hill victory - the first came with Tirol in 1989 - and we are three-handed this time.
"The ground is already heavy in places, but conditions won't worry Piping Rock, who bolted up in similar conditions at Salisbury last time.
"Anticipated also enjoys getting his toe in, but he is going up in trip and, being by Whipper, he would not be sure to stay if things get too testing.
"Day of Conquest has done nothing wrong and just bumped into a good one in Scotland when his hat-trick bid was thwarted at Epsom last time."
Invincible Strike made an impressive winning debut at Hamilton in late August before just failing to give lumps of weight to smart filly Stars Above Me at Leicester.
Trainer James Tate holds the juvenile in high regard and is expecting a bold show this weekend if he handles the ultra-testing conditions.
Tate said: "We had the option of going to Leopardstown this weekend for the Killavullan Stakes but it doesn't look like the ground or the opposition will be much different, so it makes no sense to give him an eight-hour journey on the ferry when we can just go down the road.
"He's a horse I've always thought a lot of and he's been crying out for seven furlongs.
"He handles good to soft ground no problem. It's obviously going to be a bit of an unknown running on very soft ground, but that will be the case for a few of them.
"It's a tough race to weigh up. On the bare form of his maiden win Andre Fabre's horse wouldn't be a threat, but he wouldn't be bringing him otherwise.
"Piping Rock is another danger and looking at his pedigree he should love the ground, so we'll see what happens.
"I don't think it's an unreachable target for our horse."
Andrew Balding saddles an interesting contender in Trading Profit.
After winning a Windsor maiden in July, the youngster finished last of seven in the Mill Reef Stakes, but was beaten less than three lengths.
He then ran creditably in the Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar before beating only one rival by 14 lengths in a conditions race at Leicester last time.
Balding said: "It was very difficult to draw too many conclusions from his last run at Leicester, but he did handle the testing ground well, which is a positive for Saturday.
"He ran quite well in the Mill Reef and he also ran with great credit at Redcar, but we just felt six furlongs was on the short side for him.
"I'm hoping he'll be competitive this weekend. He has a good each-way chance."
The Michael Appleby-trained Cordite has plenty to do on official figures, but looked much improved when stepped up to seven furlongs on soft ground at Leicester last time, beating six rivals by upwards of seven lengths.
Appleby said: "We thought we'd let him take his chance as we really don't know how good he is.
"It was a good performance at Leicester last time and it was a good time.
"I always thought he was a decent horse. Whether he's this good, we'll find out on Saturday.
"He's got everything in his favour and he's in good order, so I think he's going there with half a chance. I don't think he'll disgrace himself."