Rae Guest might be stabling one of the best horses in the world, but the Newmarket handler has more pressing matters in hand at Beverley on Thursday.
Guest has been bombarded by worldwide interest since California Chrome, last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes hero, touched down from the USA at his Hamilton Road yard.
The four-year-old colt, trained by Art Sherman, is being readied by Guest and his team for Royal Ascot, before which he could run in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.
For Guest, though, his priority this week is to have Spring Dixie and Gleneely Girl at the peak of their powers for the second meeting of the season at Beverley.
The former runs in the Mayday Raceday Here Monday 4th May Handicap (2.30), while Spring Dixie takes the plunge in the Follow Us On Twitter @Beverley_Races Handicap at 4.30pm.
“Both horses should run well,” said Guest.
“Gleneely Girl had some nice form last year and won well at Carlisle last July. The return to turf should suit and the trip, track and ground will be fine, too.”
“Spring Dixie is in a similar boat as she is also having her first run of the season.
“Her maiden form was pretty good and we think this step up to mile and a quarter might work out.
“Both horses might just need the run a little bit, but we go there hopeful.”
The Group One-winning handler has a good record at Beverley, with five victories from just 15 runners in the last five seasons.
“I like Beverley and it’s always a good track to start horses off for the season. If I had the same statistics at Beverley as I do at all the other courses, I’d be very happy.”
Guest is proud to have California Chrome in his care, and reports the 2014 American Horse of the Year in fine fettle ahead of a possible outing in the Lockinge on May 16.
He told Beverley racecourse: “He’s in great form and it’s a pleasure to have him.
“We are just getting him up to racing speed, but he seems to be enjoying his time with us.
“Art Sherman is going to be here by the end of next week, I think, and we’ll give the horse a proper gallop and see where we go from there.
“I’m not surprised there’s been so much interest. He’s a great horse and it’s a great story.”
Spring Dixie and Gleneely Girl feature on a seven-race card on the Westwood, where racing is due to begin at 1.55pm with the 11-runner Beverley Minster Maiden Auction Fillies’ Stakes.
Highlight of the meeting is the Happy 40th Birthday Pat Roberts (3.00), which has become a fine pointer towards the bigger summer prizes. Mark Johnston has won the last two renewals with Shebebi and Muteela, who subsequently claimed the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot, and this time saddles Enlace.
Later on the card, the Rapid Lad Handicap (4.00) pays homage to the remarkable achievements of the former Beverley course specialist, who won 12 races in East Yorkshire between 1983-89.
The current going is good to firm, good in places, with light watering taking place to slow down the drying-out process.
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