Haggas Targets More Finals Day Success

Championship News

28 March 2024

Nine Tenths hopes to stamp her class on the BetMGM Fillies' And Mares' Championships Handicap, as trainer William Haggas bids to win the seven-furlong contest for a third time after Queen Aminatu in 2023 and Diagnostic in 2018.

Nine Tenths chased home Dear My Friend in the BetMGM Tandridge Stakes and gained Listed honours of her own with a smooth success in the Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton earlier this month.

Shades Of Summer scored at both AWC Trials Day fixtures to set up a £75,000 bonus tilt, although Jane Chapple-Hyam’s mare now meets Nine Tenths on 8lb worse terms compared to Newcastle on January 1.

Last year’s runner-up Aramis Grey (Rae Guest) has twice finished second to Shades Of Summer this season and receives a 4lb pull in the weights from their latest meeting at Lingfield Park. 

Cloud Cover was the beaten favourite in the same Lingfield Park race, having posted a decisive win for James Tate at Kempton Park on her previous start.

Further down the handicap, Just A Spark and Sibyl Charm have both been in excellent form for Rod Millman and Iain Jardine, each recording three victories since the turn of the year.

Irish raider Hodd’s Girl was third in this race last year for Adrian McGuinness and reverts to her preferred distance after two runs over a mile at Dundalk.

Wild Side (George Boughey) looks to reverse a two-and-a-half-length deficit with Shades Of Summer from the Newcastle trial. Kempton Park scorer Smiling Sunflower completes the field for Mick Appleby.

The view from connections

William Haggas, trainer of Nine Tenths, said: “She has had a very good season, but it is unfortunate that this race is no longer a conditions race, as then she really would have a good chance. As it is, she probably won’t win because she is giving lumps of weight to inferior animals, but that’s the way it is.”

Jane Chapple-Hyam, trainer of Shades Of Summer, said: “She is doing really well. Nine Tenths looks a good horse and they will be claiming 7lb off her, which makes things interesting. Nine Tenths probably has the better of us at the weights, but I do think our filly still has more to offer. She was strong through the line at Lingfield and, with each race, she is like a quiet achiever who keeps finding a bit more.”

Rae Guest, trainer of Aramis Grey, said: “Aramis Grey had her three qualifying runs and performed well every time, as she usually does. She has won 10 races and over £200,000 in prize money. We are 4lb better off with Jane Chapple-Hyam’s filly from last time and that should give us a chance, although I suspect the one most of us are worried about is Nine Tenths, who didn’t go up in the handicap for winning a Listed race.”

James Tate, trainer of Cloud Cover, said: “Cloud Cover is in good form. She does not like hitting the front too early and that is what happened along the rail at Lingfield, which we felt played against her. We will try to leave it a little bit later on Friday.”

Iain Jardine, trainer of Sibyl Charm, said: “We are having a go as Sibyl Charm has been in some form over recent months. She is a grand filly to train – tough and straightforward. The owners are keen to have a go and I am right behind them, because it is not often you get to have a crack at almost 100 grand.”

Rod Millman, trainer of Just A Spark, said: “Just A Spark is in good order. I thought her run last time was poor but she had a few things go against her. I think she is capable of running very well here, and hopefully she can put that effort behind her.” 

Mick Appleby, trainer of Smiling Sunflower, said: “She has no weight on her back and does have ability, but she usually throws her chance away at the start. If she comes out the gates with the rest of them, she could run well.”


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