Horse racing: Cat could take the cream from Perfect rival

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The feature race of the Jersey Race Club’s second meeting of the season is sponsored by the Hemmings family, the patriarch of whom is Trevor Hemmings, owner of Grand National hero Hedgehunter, winner in 2005 and runner-up in such heroic style this year.

It could prove to be mini classic at Les Landes, too.

Nine runners go to post for this level-weight contest, which favours runners at the top of the handicap, such as Catcando and Perfect Portrait.

The former was beaten by the latter by a head over seven furlongs on Easter Monday, but the extra furlong and a half of the Guineas may suit Des Ahier’s Catcando marginally better than Phyllis Somers’ six-times Jersey winner Perfect Portrait.

Last year’s winner, Meelup, a UK entrant, is entered again.

His recent UK form is little below par and it is possible that he will struggle to score a back-to-back victory, although a place is more than likely.

Joan Le Brocq-trained Tony Tie, third on Easter Monday, should run another consistent race, but a three-length turnaround of form is necessary to beat the two principals.

The one that could steal the prize is Ian Shenkin’s Best Before, runner-up to his stable-mate on Easter Monday over a mile and a quarter.

Clearly staying the distance, a searching pace would be ideal, to take the sting from the speed of the seven-furlong specialists.

The remaining runners would need to improve on their form of their first race of the season, although it would be no surprise to see Minnie’s Mystery filling a place.

The afternoon starts with the Bloodstock Advisory Services Handicap Hurdle- literally a two-horse race.

Alyson Malzard-trained Rosa Sainte should repeat her Easter Monday win from Shinbang, although the enigmatic Shinbang will one day force punters to eat their words.

The restricted sprint race appears to be a wide-open contest.

The best two horses in the race are probably Master Rattle and Silver Silence.

The former is handled particularly well by rider Adam Jones, and if he gets off to a good start he will take some beating.

Silver Silence has undoubted ability, although this distance would appear to be short of his ideal; it is possible, though, he has the class to score.

Of the rest, Neville Ahier’s versatile Regal Ali never ceases to amaze and won on Easter Monday over an extended mile.

The partnership-owned and Colin McCready-trained Treat Me Wild, only a four-year-old, may be an improving sort and should be watched carefully for future opportunities this season.

Finally, UK entrant Madrasse is well handicapped here and should not be overlooked.

The Geoffrey Edwards Memorial Handicap over a mile and a half fields nine runners, headed in the weights by Off Minor and Crossways, third and fourth respectively in the Easter Monday race.

Since then, however, they both fell in the same race in Guernsey, causing anxious moments for their connections, and it is heartening to see them both taking part tomorrow.

Their conqueror on Easter Monday, Ian Shenkin’s Groomsman, trained by Vicki Lucas, runs again, and if recent Guernsey form is ignored should run another good race.

However, the extra quarter of a mile will suit Off Minor and Crossways.

Khuzdar has not yet shown last season’s form of four wins, beaten by Hakam in Guernsey, but once a return of form is produced he is capable of beating them all in a handicap, as shown in the prestigious Clarendon Trophy last August Bank holiday.

The surprise Easter Monday winner, See More Snow, runs here, but he may find the competition a little stiffer despite a weight advantage of two and a half stone from the top weight.

Finally, racing ends with a nine-furlong handicap sponsored by Kevin Leech.

The executors of the late Joan May run Royal Starlet in this race, a useful addition to Joan Le Brocq’s yard last season.

Royal Starlet won the last race of the 2005 racing season, which is form good enough to win this race tomorrow.

David Evans’s Countywide Pride won in Guernsey and again ridden by Tony Procter has every chance.

Colin McCready-trained Snow Lark is sure to run another consistent race, and if Martin’s Sunset is now a little fitter, this winner of the 2004 Clarendon is good enough to win.

That leaves the partnership-owned and Stephen Arthur-trained ReturnoftheFairy, runner-up on Easter Monday and a winner of two races in this company last year.

Still at the bottom of the handicap, this mare has every chance of winning here.

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