Fellowes hopes Carnwennan will be too sharp for top rivals in Newbury's £100,000 Marsh Cup
Up and coming stayer Carnwennan, who has risen 22lb since recording the first of four wins from his last six starts, could still be ahead of the handicapper, his trainer Charlie Fellowes says as he targets the second running of the £100,000 Marsh Cup at Newbury on Saturday.
Carnwennan earned another jump up the ratings when he ran out a three and a half lengths winner of the Northumberland Vase, the consolation race for the Northumberland Plate, at Newcastle last month.
And on his new mark of 94, a rise of 7lb, he could get the chance to test himself not only against the Plate winner Who Dares Wins this weekend, but also a host of other big race winning stayers, who include last year’s race winner Stratum, Making Miracles, winner of the Chester Cup in May.
Also entered are Ascot Stakes winner The Grand Visir and Withhold, who captured the 2018 Northumberland Plate and 2017 Cesarewitch.
Carnwennan, owned by Dr Vincent Kong, features among a 24-strong entry for the 2m handicap, which was run for the first time at Newbury last year.
Fellowes said: “We’ve got a very progressive horse on our hands, one that ran a quicker time with a bigger weight than the Northumberland Plate winner at Newcastle. I thought he looked very good last time."
"It was the first time I’ve been seriously impressed with him. He travelled, quickened up and put the race to bed very quickly. I think he was significantly superior to a lot of them. But this race sounds like a hot race, a cracker."
“My horse might still be ahead of the handicapper. I thought a 7lb rise was fair. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had put him up a bit more."
"He has won on turf and he will love the track at Newbury. This was the obvious place to come. When I looked at the calendar it stuck out like a sore thumb as being a race that would really suit him.”
The Alan King-trained Who Dares Wins landed the Northumberland Plate on his next start after finishing second in the Chester Cup and his participation could depend on the weather.
Henry Ponsonby, manager of the HP Racing Who Dares Wins syndicate, said: “If we get any rain we will be running. He’s come out of the Northumberland Plate very well and the form has been franked very strongly with King’s Advice winning at Newmarket on Friday."
“He won’t run on good to firm but he will run on good. From my analysis there could be quite a lot of rain from Friday lunchtime onwards into racing. So, he will probably be declared as a runner and then we will just have to see.”
The Marsh Cup is part of a seven-race card which also features the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint, the Group 3 Bet365 Hackwood Stakes and Listed Bet365 Stakes.
Legendary singer Tom Jones will take to the Party in the Paddock stage after racing to perform a 90-minute set. Grandstand tickets are still available to purchase by visiting newburyracecourse.co.uk
Winning Weatherbys Super Sprint ‘kept me in business’ says Millman
Rod Millman is targeting bargain buy fillies Bettys Hope and Daddies Diva at the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury on July 20. It is the race he credits with keeping him in the training business for the past 22 years.
Millman, based in Cullompton, Devon, was in his eighth season with a licence when Lord Kintyre’s victory in the 1997 Weatherbys Super Sprint delivered his small stable his first big race success.
“If it wasn’t for Lord Kintyre we wouldn’t be here, I’m sure,” said Millman who hopes Bettys Hope, who won a valuable nursery at Chelmsford last Saturday, and Nottingham novice winner Daddies Diva will prove strong candidates in the 5f race.
Bettys Hope, who cost £3,000 and is owned by the trainer’s wife Louise, landed her second win when beating the odds-on Oh Purple Reign at the weekend: “We’ve always thought a bit of Bettys Hope. We fancied her first time out and she came up against Lady Kermit who was too strong for her on the day. She has had three seconds and she has won her last two races."
“We gave her a bit of a break to get her fresh for the Super Sprint. Saturday was her prep race. She probably would be better over six furlongs, but she has only got a low weight for the Super Sprint. The only drawback is she will get a small 3lb penalty. As she only cost £3,000 she is still quite well in."
“Daddies Diva won her maiden and then got blown out of water by Monoski at Pontefract. She went to Bath next time where she hung a bit, but she is in good form for the Super Sprint. She only cost £2,000. She is just as good as Bettys Hope, probably a bit quicker.”
The Weatherbys Super Sprint is restricted to horses who cost £63,000 or less at public auction. Weights are determined by the sale price.
Millman is a regular participant: “I always make entries in the Super Sprint. It’s the race that has kept me in business. Back in 1997 I only had three two-year-olds and was only training 11 or 12 horses. Things were going very bad."
“Lord Kintyre came along, won the Super Sprint and kept me in business by giving me a big push. We have trained nearly 700 winners now and we have a good family business. If it wasn’t for Lord Kintyre we wouldn’t be here, I’m sure. It’s a wonderful race.”