Menuisier hoping for a Vintager performance at Newbury on Worthington’s Armed Forces Raceday

Newbury’s 2017 Flat season concludes on Saturday, October 28 with Worthington’s Armed Forces Raceday. The eight-race card runs from 1.10pm to 5.05pm.

A field of 11 goes to post in the richest race of the day, the £60,000 G3 Worthington’s ‘Indigo Leisure’ Stakes (2.15pm) over a mile and a half.

The top-rated performer in the Worthington’s ‘Indigo Leisure’ Stakes is Godolphin’s Frontiersman (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), who was runner-up in the G1 Coronation Cup at Epsom back in June. Also lining up in the famous blue silks is Best Solution (Saeed bin Suroor/Pat Cosgrave), second in the G1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis at Munich, Germany, on his penultimate appearance.

Danehill Kodiac (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey) is bidding to follow up in G3 company, having landed the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot on October 7 while Mountain Bell (Ralph Beckett/Martin Harley) is set to make her first racecourse appearance since finishing second in this race a year ago, when she went down by half a length to Duretto.

Other runners of note include G3 Bahrain Trophy scorer Raheen House (Brian Meehan/Jamie Spencer), last season’s G1 Epsom Oaks runner-up Architecture (Hugo Palmer/Josephine Gordon) and Western Hymn (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori), successful four times at G3 level.

Seven go to post in the other G3 contest on Saturday’s programme, the £40,000 Bathwick Tyres Stakes (2.50pm) for two-year-olds, which takes place over seven furlongs.

Nebo (Charlie Hills/Frankie Dettori) sets the standard having been placed four times in G2 company, including when a close third in the six-furlong G2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on September 23. Dream Today (Mark Johnston/P J McDonald) was runner-up in the G3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago, while the consistent Tangled (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey) scored the biggest win of his career in the valuable Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes at York in August.

An interesting contender is Vintager (David Menuisier/Kieran Shoemark). The Mastercraftsman colt was a surprise 33/1 winner on debut at Newmarket over seven furlongs in August and then ran a good race when a close fourth to Masar, who was subsequently third at G1 level, in the G3 Solario Stakes over the same distance at Sandown on September 2.

Menuisier, who is based at Pulborough in Sussex, said today: “Vintager seems to be in good shape and the track at Newbury should suit. I think that the soft ground should suit as well because he won nicely on similar ground on his debut at Newmarket.

“He was meant to run the other day at Newmarket in the G3 Somerville Stakes but his scope wasn’t great, so we decided to give him a bit more time and he seems fine now.

“He was very green when he ran in the Solario Stakes and he switched off a little bit too much at the back. Sandown is not an easy track for two-year-olds and, when you win first time out, you need to learn a great deal quickly in order to compete at G3 level. Despite his greenness, it was still a good run.

“He should be a bit cleverer on his third run and we will see how he gets on – he will either prove me right or prove me wrong!”

The eight-race programme on Worthington’s Armed Forces Raceday also includes the £30,000 Listed Bathwick Tyres Stakes (3.55pm, 14 runners) for two-year-old fillies. Two Irish-trained raiders line up in this contest – recent Naas nursery winner Moonlight Bay (Ger Lyons/Jamie Spencer) and Sunday Smart (Patrick Prendergast/Ted Durcan), who landed a Limerick maiden last time out.

Worthington’s Armed Forces Raceday comes to a close with the Worthington’s ‘Victoria Club’ Lady Jockeys’ Handicap (5.05pm, 10 runners).

To mark the 10th anniversary of Worthington’s Armed Forces Raceday on Saturday, all runners carrying the Number 10 will wear specially designed number cloths for the eight-race card to mark the occasion.

Once again, Newbury Racecourse will welcome current serving members of the Armed Forces and members of the Royal British Legion for its final Flat meeting of the season, which also plays host to the launch before racing of the 2017 Poppy Appeal for Berkshire and Vale of White Horse. It will be marked the Royal British Legion’s Parachute Display team.

Newbury also races tomorrow, Friday, October 27, which offers an eight-race programme running from 1.10pm to 5.10pm.

An intriguing runner tomorrow is Royal Line (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori) who goes to post in the British Stallion Studs EBF Conditions Stakes over an extended mile and five furlongs. The three-year-old Dubawi colt, who is out of G1 Oaks third Melikah (herself a daughter of the outstanding Urban Sea), runs in the maroon and white silks made famous by so many of Sheikh Mohammed’s star performers and which now represent his daughter, Her Highness Sheikha Al Jalila.

The going at Newbury is currently Soft.

Jump racing returns to Newbury on Thursday, November 9, with the highlight of Newbury’s Jump season, the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival, following on Friday and Saturday, December 1 and 2.

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