Amralah to blossom in Rose
Last Updated: 08/08/14 3:52pm
Amralah: A Haydock hopeful.
Mick Channon insists Amralah is "ready to rock and roll" in the Betfred Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.
The West Ilsley handler has high hopes for the four-year-old son of Teofilo, who claimed a short-head victory over the reopposing Vancouverite in a Listed race at Newbury in July.
Channon feels Amralah will be ideally suited to middle distances in time, but is confident everything is in his favour on Merseyside.
He said: "Amralah has come out of Newbury well and is in great form.
"We always knew he was a decent horse and he has just started to improve. He is certainly going the right way.
"I think 10 furlongs on nice ground is spot-on for him at the moment, but I have no doubts he will get a mile and a half later on.
"He is ready to rock and roll, that's for sure."
Educate, last season's Cambridgeshire winner, has another try in Group company for the emerging Ismail Mohammed operation.
The five-year-old gelding was last seen finishing an honourable fifth in the John Smith's Cup at York.
Niall Collum, assistant to the Newmarket handler, said: "He did really well at York and is in a very good place - he's very fit and very well.
"We'd like to see a drop or two of rain for him, and there looks to be loads forecast.
"He's a versatile horse and has been knocking on the door for quite a bit in these good races.
"Hopefully his turn will come at the weekend."
The most unexposed runner in the field is Roger Varian's Ayrad, having just his fourth race.
Unraced at two, he shaped well on his debut at Newmarket in April before opening his account easily at Hamilton.
He was then stepped up markedly in class for the French Derby but finished 11th of 16 behind The Grey Gatsby
"We've always regarded him as potentially a high-class colt," said Varian.
"We've just been waiting for a bit softer ground to run him on really, it's been very dry lately but looking at the forecast it should be soft come race time.
"He won his maiden up at Hamilton nicely and then we pitched him in at the deep end for the French Derby.
"The ground had dried out a bit and mentally he probably wasn't ready for a rough and tumble race like that, it was probably asking a bit much for him to hold his own.
"We had him in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood last week but the ground was too quick there."
Vancouverite showed smart form in France last year for Andre Fabre and joined Charlie Appleby for the Dubai Carnival.
Having finished second in the Group One Jebel Hatta on his first outing, he cut little ice in the World Cup itself.
However, on his debut in England he finished with a real flourish at Newbury and nearly caught Amralah in the Doom Bar Stakes.
"I was pleased with Vancouverite's first start after a break at Newbury and he has come on for that run," Appleby told www.godolphin.com.
"He's giving a bit of weight away to the three-year-olds but, providing there is not much rain, conditions should suit him. I am hopeful of a decent performance."
Appleby's Godolphin counterpart Saeed bin Suroor runs True Story who has been a disappointment since winning the Feilden Stakes on his first run of the season.
This represents quite a drop in class and Bin Suroor said: "We felt that this was the best race for True Story following his run in the Eclipse - a Group Three over a mile and a quarter should suit him well.
"He has been doing well and heads to Haydock in good form, although I wouldn't want to see any soft ground for him."