Secret seeking Scurry success
Pearl Secret puts his unbeaten record on the line in Saturday's Novae Bloodstock Insurance Scurry Stakes at Sandown.
David Barron's three-year-old steps up to Listed company for the first time having won his first three starts in impressive fashion.
Owned by Pearl Bloodstock, the temptation to run at Royal Ascot has been resisted and Richard Hughes will replace the suspended Jamie Spencer in the saddle.
"We've been delighted with him," said David Redvers, the owner's racing manager.
"He's a horse that David is very excited about and he's a horse we're very excited about and we hope this another step on an upward curve.
"I don't think he wants heavy ground by any stretch of the imagination, but he's good enough and able enough to handle it. He won in heavy at Doncaster.
"He's drawn seven of eight which is hardly ideal as Sandown is one track where it seems imperative to be on the rail, but he's got speed to burn so it will be interesting to see how Richard rides him with Jamie suspended.
"Richard rides Sandown well but you can say that about most tracks for him, especially ones in that part of the country."
Brian Meehan's Ballesteros is rated only 1lb inferior to Pearl Secret by the official handicapper.
He won over the course and distance in April in heavy ground and followed up Chester before being beaten at odds of 1-2 at Beverley.
"He's a five-times-winning sprinter and will have the soft ground in his favour as he attempts a first success in Listed company," Meehan told his website, www.brianmeehanatmanton.com.
"He came with a strong run to get his 2012 tally going in a heavy-ground handicap over course and distance back in April, but these opponents are of a higher calibre.
"(He has a) good chance in a tough contest."
John Best is putting a hood on Bayleyf in an attempt to get him settled, having been too keen over six furlongs this season.
"He gets himself a little bit wound up before the start and it (a hood) seems to have worked quite well with Stone Of Folca (Epsom Dash winner) so we thought it might calm him down a little," said Best.
"He's been running too keen over six and while I think he wants further than five, we just thought we'd give him a run over it to help settle him.
"I didn't really want to be drawn in stall one as he's unlikely to have the pace to lead them. Hopefully he'll settle, but then he might not have anywhere to go.
"We think he's a good horse, but he wants further and we need to try and sort it out so that he can get further.
"The ground shouldn't be a problem as he's won on soft, but I'd be worried if it got tacky."
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