SIR MICHAEL STOUTE and Prince Khalid Abdulla are not a trainer-owner partnership you would expect to see represented at Catterick on a Wednesday, but lo and behold, the duo have a runner at this afternoon's meeting in Rocket Ship, a horse who has found the winners' enclosure most elusive.
In his three latest races, at Kempton, Goodwood and Haydock, the three-year-old gelding has finished runner-up every time. The modest-looking St Teresa's Hospice Median Auction Maiden Stakes looks his best opportunity yet to get off the mark.
Stoute has had two winners from eight runners at Catterick in the last five years. As for James Doyle, who secured the plum job of retained jockey to Abdulla last year and who has since gained a Classic victory and a Group 1 Royal Ascot triumph on the owner's brilliant Kingman, he has had only three mounts on this course in five years and has not enjoyed a winner.
Rocket Ship should amend the jockey's statistics today and also put Stoute and Abdulla on the scoreboard at a venue which rarely comes under their radar.
The Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival Handicap looks a tightly-knit affair but Miaplacidus is narrowly preferred to her five rivals,
Richard Fahey's filly was a course and distance winner last month and has twice run well in defeat since at Carlisle. She should go well under Tony Hamilton.
North Yorkshire owner Irvine Lynch has good prospects of not only one winner, but two. His colours will be carried by Dr Irv and Abraham Monro.
Dr Irv found only the well-fancied and in-form Hot Spice too strong on this course last week when he was beaten two-and-a-half lengths, but, to his credit, finished no less than 14 lengths clear of the remainder of the field.
Dr Irv is fancied to go one better in the 5th Regiment Royal Artillery Heimdall Handicap with PJ McDonald in the saddle.
Abraham Monro runs in the first division of the racinguk.com Handicap with Jimmy Sullivan in the saddle.
The four-year-old has had only two outings this season and gave notice last time at Thirsk that he was coming to hand when finishing a creditable third over six furlongs. He is worth trying over this extra furlong and has a good draw in stall one.
John Quinn has his horses in excellent form and, after successes at Ripon on Monday evening and at Pontefract yesterday with this column's 11-1 nap selection Miami Carousel, the Highfield trainer can continue with Makin The Rules in the Racing Again Next Wednesday 16th July Handicap.
Phil Makin's mount showed some useful form last year as a juvenile and although he has yet to get off the mark in three tries this term, he should be up to winning this class 5 event.
Third at Ripon two outings ago and runner-up to Foxy Clarets at Pontefract on his latest start, Makin The Rules is napped to come good this afternoon.
At Yarmouth, the booking of Ryan Moore for newcomer Spring Loaded, trained by Paul d'Arcy, looks significant in the Ladies Night At Great Yarmouth Racecourse Maiden Auction Stakes.
Spring Loaded will have to be pretty smart to lower the colours of the promising Loumarin, but it would be no surprise to witness a bold bid.
Moore looks the jockey to follow on this card. He has a whole host of other winning chances, not least aboard the promising Authroized Too (3-10), trained by William Haggas, Global Leader (3-40), another d'Arcy-trained runner, and recent winner Royal Marskell (5-10), who represents Alison Hutchinson.
2.30 Danot, 3.00 Rocket Ship, 3.30 Miaplacidus, 4.00 Dr Irv, 4.30 Abraham Monro, 5.00 Running Reef, 5.30 Makin The Rules (NAP).
2.10 Spring Loaded, 2.40 Angus Glens, 3.10 Authorized Too, 3.40 Global Leader, 4.10 One Pekan, 4.40 Bethan, 5.10 Royal Marskell.
Today’s other meetings
Lingfield, Kempton and Worcester.
Tomorrow’s other meetings
Newmarket, Doncaster, Nottingham, Epsom and Bath.