Classy Ivawood to take the Jersey

Bill Esdaile
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Dermot Weld has won major races all over the world and has always thought very highly of Free Eagle

LAST week I had the pleasure of visiting Richard Hannon’s stable in Wiltshire and the one horse on virtually everyone’s lips was IVAWOOD who lines up in this afternoon’s Jersey Stakes (2.30pm).

The son of Zebedee has yet to visit the winner’s enclosure in three races so far this term, but he gets his ideal conditions this afternoon in the shape of a fast-ground seven furlongs.

He bounced back from a much needed seasonal pipe-opener in the Greenham at Newbury to finish a gallant third in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Connections persisted with their attempts to prove that he stays a mile and that very nearly paid off when he was narrowly reeled in late on in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Thankfully, they have abandoned those eight furlong aspirations today and have dropped him back in distance and class this afternoon.

The horse has been in rude health at home in recent weeks and the 13/8 available with Paddy Power still looks attractive as he looks a cut above his rivals this afternoon, even carrying a penalty.

Fans of Bossy Guest will point to the fact that Mick Channon’s colt was only ½ length behind my selection at Newmarket, yet lines up on 5lb better terms today.

Bossy Guest had previously run out an impressive winner of a Newmarket Sales race over six furlongs, so also won’t lack gears at the business end.

The filly Fadhayyil is another who looks sure to relish the drop back in trip and she certainly wasn’t helped by a bandage coming loose late on when back-peddling in the 1,000 Guineas. She is held in high regard and will be hoping to follow in the hoofprints of Ishvana who won this contest for the fairer sex back in 2012.

William Haggas’ unexposed Hathal also warrants a mention having bolted up at Lingfield a couple of weeks ago on only his second career start.

Although this is a massive step up in class, his shrewd trainer has made no secret about how highly he rates this son of Speightstown.

A field of 17 fillies line-up for a trappy looking Sandringham Handicap (5.35pm) and Godolphin’s Always Smile should be hard to beat.

That said, John Gosden’s Jellicle Ball has had excuses for both her recent defeats and could easily bounce back. The Queen’s Touchline is another on the upgrade and for that reason I’m keen to keep the powder dry.

▀ Pointers…
IVAWOOD 2.30pm Ascot