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Fracture victim Willbeme primed to continue remarkable revival
When Willbeme fractured her pelvis last summer, her future career was left hanging in the balance. What a difference 12 months can make.
Not only has the Neville Bycroft-trained filly returned to the fray, she’s won her last two races in the style of a sprinter going places. Tomorrow, she’s going from Norton to Haydock to bid for a hat-trick of wins.
Successful at Redcar last July on only her second start, Willbeme was sidelined with injury soon afterwards and was forced to spend a lengthy stint undergoing box-rest before being turned out in a paddock.
It was not until July of this year that the four-year-old resumed racing. An encouraging third on her comeback outing at Thirsk, she went on to win next time out at Doncaster and then followed up at Haydock, both times by handsome margins.
Her rating has risen from 61 to 75, a full 14lb, but such is the prowess of Willbeme it would take a brave man to say for certain that her progress is about to come to an end, especially after only five career starts.
Her target tomorrow is the Betfred Bolton Lads & Girls Club Handicap over six furlongs and Willbeme is napped.
Mark Johnston is in unstoppable form and the Middleham maestro has good prospects of a Haydock double with Prussian and Modernism.
The latter ran out a four lengths winner on his latest start at Goodwood a fortnight ago and looks up to defying a higher mark in the Betfred 20/2 Technologies Ltd Handicap.
Prussian lines up in the Betfred Bolton Atlantic Rowing Challenge Handicap and deserves a win. The three-year-old went down by only a head to Labarinto at Sandown just under a week ago.
Richard Fahey is another North Yorkshire trainer in top form and the Malton handler also has a double chance, initiated by Sunny Side Up in the second division of the Betfred Sharples Group Handicap.
The filly, who carries the colours of Channel 4 racing presenter Jim McGrath, who also bred her, has won three of her last four races, each time with Laura Barry, who is attached to the Fahey stable, in the saddle. There may be another victory in her before the handicapper finally catches up with her.
Lord Aeryn runs for Fahey in the Betfred Clyde & Co Handicap and is not to be underestimated.
Having overcome a wide draw to win a valuable Thirsk handicap two starts back, the gelding did not quite get the rub of the green at York last time, but still managed to finish seventh to Trade Storm in a red-hot 20-runner race at the Ebor Festival .
At Kempton’s evening meeting, David Nicholls’ front-running Snow Bay (6.20) and recent winner Saborido (9.20), trained by Amanda Perrett, can book-end the seven-race card.
2.00 Queen Grace, 2.30 Sunny Side Up, 3.05 Sky Garden, 3.35 Willbeme (NAP), 4.10 Barkston Ash, 4.45 Prussian, 5.15 Lord Aeryn, 5.45 Modernism.
6.20 Snow Bay, 6.50 Ostaad, 7.20 Noble Deed, 7.50 Autumn Shadow, 8.20 Queen Aggie, 8.50 Trader Jack, 9.20 Saborido.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Brighton and Chepstow.
Today’s meetings: Haydock, Kempton, Salisbury and Sedgefield.