Hope springs eternal
American Hope is among the entries for the 32Red International Trial Stakes at Lingfield on Saturday.
The three-year-old holds an entry in the £150,000 32Red All-Weather Three-Year-Old Championship Conditions Stakes on All-Weather Championships Finals Day (Good Friday, April 18) and Saturday's run will ensure he is eligible for the seven-furlong contest.
American Hope won a six-furlong maiden at Dundalk in December for trainer Willie Browne and was subsequently purchased for 34,000 guineas by Bedfordshire handler Mike Murphy at the Tattersalls February Sale.
He was narrowly beaten on his debut for Murphy in a six-furlong conditions event at Lingfield Park on February 28, but took a big step forward when going down by a head to the highly-regarded Ertijaal in the seven-furlong Listed 32Red Spring Cup at the same course on March 22.
Murphy reported: "American Hope has come out of the Spring Cup well. We are stepping up an extra furlong on Saturday, but we think that will be fine.
"He is still inexperienced and is a bit of a big baby, but he learnt last time from the time before and we hope that he has learnt again. Lingfield probably wouldn't be his track, but once he got into gear last time he stuck his head down and was unlucky to find the winning post coming too soon. The extra furlong should help him in that respect.
"We will see how he comes out of the race on Saturday, but the reason we are running is because that will qualify for him the race on Good Friday.
"We think he will be a good horse on turf later down the line. He will want a flat, galloping track and there's no reason why he shouldn't transfer his good All-Weather form to the turf."
American Hope, who will partnered by Shane Kelly, is set to face four rivals headed by Group One Prix Jean Luc-Lagardere fifth Barley Mow (Richard Hannon/Ryan Moore) and facile course and distance victor Sloane Avenue (Jeremy Noseda/Frankie Dettori).
Newbury winner Bow Creek (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning) and Zampa Manos (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy) complete the line up.
Lingfield Park's seven-race card also features the £20,000 coral.co.uk Handicap (3.00pm, 7 runners) over 12 furlongs, which will see the season return of the exciting Brass Ring (John Gosden/James Doyle), who holds entries in the Coronation and Yorkshire Cups.
Horses qualify for the six championship contests on £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day (Good Friday, April 18, 2014) by running in a minimum of three races at Britain's All-Weather tracks - three owned by ARC, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, and The Jockey Club's Kempton Park - between October 26 and April 12 or else by succeeding in one of the 16 Fast-Track Qualifiers.