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Last Updated: 25/05/12 2:04pm
Grey Mirage: Drawn 17 of 17 which is a concern for Marco Botti
Marco Botti believes that it will take a very good performance from Grey Mirage in Saturday's Betfred Silver Bowl at Haydock if he's to continue his rapid ascent up the ranks.
In a warm one-mile heat littered with potential three-year-old improvers, Grey Mirage must break from an outside draw but in terms of pure form, the Oasis Dream colt would have decent prospects as he has won his two starts this year, a Kempton maiden and the Esher Cup at Sandown, in encouraging style.
"He's a progressive three-year-old who is going the right way," said Botti.
"He won nicely at Sandown last time in spite of the heavy ground, because that was too soft for him.
"I'm not very happy with the draw. He's in 17 out of 17 but there's nothing you can do.
"We think he can progress from his mark, but it will be tough from his draw."
Potential favourite is Richard Fahey's Gabrial, for leading north-west owner Dr Marwan Koukash, who is drawn in two and was only collared in the final stages of a handicap at the Chester May meeting.
The Michael Bell-trained Apostle had a busy early two-year-old season and came back this season by winning a seven-furlong handicap at Salisbury.
He is owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, whose managing director Harry Herbert said: "He's in great order and has really come on since his first run.
"We thought a lot of him last year and then he just tailed off a bit, but he has improved and he is one that really sticks his neck out.
"This looks the right sort of race and Michael is very pleased with him."
Clive Cox has two strings to his bow with Forest Row and Lucky Henry.
The former is having his first outing away from Newbury, where he was fifth in two starts as a juvenile before returning to pull well clear in a maiden at the Greenham meeting.
Lucky Henry got off the mark last term but was only sixth at Doncaster last weekend after a promising reappearance second at Lingfield.
"Forest Row would be the first string," said Cox.
"He won his maiden impressively at Newbury and I just hope the ground isn't too quick.
"Lucky Henry comes back quickly after his run at Doncaster, where the ground was unsuitable. Hopefully the step up to a mile will help."
Trail Blaze is another to have made an excellent start to the campaign and has a course and distance victory to his name already, as well as another triumph at Catterick.
"He's done nothing wrong. He's improving and he gets in on a nice racing weight," said trainer Kevin Ryan.
Brian Meehan runs another of the leading fancies in the betting, Archbishop, who impressed on his reappearance in a valuable handicap on Newmarket Guineas weekend when beaten a nose by the useful Rewarded.
"He deserves recompense on faster ground and home work suggests he is continuing to improve," the trainer told, www.brianmeehan.co.uk.
Richard Hannon's consistent Lord Ofthe Shadows, who has already made 10 starts in his career including two this season, is the top weight.
"Lord Of the Shadows is high enough in the handicap, but Sean Levey's 3lb allowance will help, as will the better ground," the East Everleigh handler told www.richardhannonracing.tv.
William Haggas' lightly-raced Mabaany and the Ralph Beckett-trained Frog Hollow, who was third in the same Newmarket handicap as Archbishop, are other leading contenders in terms of the betting forecasts.