Caoilin Quinn can begin to dream of Randox Grand National glory aboard Nassalam after being given the all-clear to return to race riding following injury.

The 22-year-old has been somewhat the man for marathon events this season and as well as being aboard Gary Moore’s mud-loving stayer when romping to victory in the Welsh Grand National in December, he has also won the Surrey National for his boss aboard Movethechains and the Sussex National with David Bridgwater’s Dom Of Mary since the turn of the year.

However, Quinn has been out of action since the end of February after breaking his collarbone at Plumpton, sitting on the sidelines throughout the Cheltenham Festival where his star mount, Nassalam, was pulled up in his Aintree prep in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Now the young jockey is set to step off the treatment table and into the pressure cooker of Aintree on Grand National day as he receives the leg-up on not only Nassalam, but also aboard John and Yvonne Stone’s Botox Has in the JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle on the same card.

“It’s a big weekend and I have two very good rides on Saturday, I’m looking forward to it now,” said Quinn.

“Obviously I’ve been injured for the last few weeks, but I’ve just been to see the specialist and I have been given the all-clear to start riding from Thursday onwards. So hopefully I will be riding Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“Looking at the weather forecast, it’s looking like it could be in our favour – if it’s right anyway. They are due a lot of rain over the next couple of days and that is only going to help Botox and definitely Nassalam. It will certainly increase their chances if it keeps raining.

“The two of them have been really important to me so far in my career, they have given me big Saturday winners and have got me into the good races and I’m delighted to be associated with them.

“I can’t thank John and Yvonne Stone enough, they have stuck by me and kept me on their good horses and I have to especially thank my boss (Moore) for having the faith in me in the first place and giving me the opportunities. Hopefully I can keep repaying them in some big races.”

Nassalam heads to Merseyside as the highest-rated British contender in the National and is set to carry 11st 7lb as he bids to join the likes of Corbiere, Bindaree and Silver Birch in supplementing Welsh National glory with success at Aintree.

As short as 14-1 with William Hill, the seven-year-old has already had a taste of the famous course when fourth in the Grand Sefton in November and his big-race pilot feels that experience will serve him well come 4pm on Saturday.

Quinn continued: “The way the season has panned out, it was probably a good thing he ran in the Grand Sefton.

“He has got that experience over the fences now and he seemed to take to them that day. He jumped very well late on and finished very well over a much shorter trip than it’s going to be on Saturday.

“I’m delighted going into it and it takes a bit of weight off your shoulders, knowing he took to them the last day and he’s been round there before.

“It’s a completely different scenario on Saturday, but hopefully everything goes to plan for us. If it all works out it will be great.”

King George hero Hewick has emerged as a surprise contender for the JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle, with trainer John ‘Shark’ Hanlon keen to keep options open with conditions at Aintree currently testing ahead of the three-day Grand National meeting.

Famously acquired for just €850, the nine-year-old’s rags-to-riches tale as seen him become one of the most popular horses in training and he has picked up prizes such as the Galway Plate and American Grand National en route to becoming a bona fide Grade One operator.

After striking at Kempton on Boxing Day, the wet weather has already scuppered Hanlon’s plans to run Hewick in both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Randox Grand National itself this spring and the continued rainfall has seen him searching for a Merseyside alternative to running in Thursday’s Aintree Bowl.

However, the County Carlow handler has no concerns about switching to the smaller obstacles, unwilling to expose his stable star to what could be the worst of conditions on Thursday.

“We know he is as good a hurdler as he is a chaser and I’m not worried about running him over hurdles,” said Hanlon.

“We ran him in the French Champion Hurdle and he ran a cracker, the ground was just too soft and if the ground was too soft there at Aintree on Thursday and we didn’t run him, it gives us the option to run him there on Saturday.

“They are giving the weather to dry up from Tuesday on and the ground could be good again on Saturday, so if the ground was OK we would run him.

“I’ve had it in my mind for the last fortnight and he wouldn’t mind a bit of cut in the ground over hurdles, it’s just that he’s not over big himself and over fences I would be afraid he would burst his heart trying to jump out of heavy ground, which over a hurdle he won’t. It’s not that he has to have good ground, it is just that a fence looks very big to him on soft ground.

“He’s in great form and he’s worked nice. We’re just going to wait now and see and it might be that (hurdles) division this year might not be overly the best. I just have to keep all my options open.”

There are a total of 20 entries for the three-mile Grade One with Stayers’ Hurdle champion Teahupoo one of four possible runners for Gordon Elliott alongside defending champion Sire Du Berlais, Irish Point and Beacon Edge.

Stayers’ Hurdle runner-up Flooring Porter will bid to turn the tables for Gavin Cromwell, while fellow Irish raider Buddy One could seek a first Grade One victory having also acquitted himself well at the Cheltenham Festival.

Fergal O’Brien’s Crambo is among the British hopes, with dual Coral Cup winner Langer Dan taking the leap into deep waters for the trainers’ championship-seeking Dan Skelton.

The Turners Mersey Novices’ Hurdle could see record buy Caldwell Potter make his debut for Paul Nicholls, with a collection of talented novices, including Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Slade Steel, amongst the 24 initial entries.

Meanwhile, there has been little to separate Elliott’s Found A Fifty and Willie Mullins’ Il Etait Temps this season and they could lock horns for a third time in the My Pension Expert Maghull Novices’ Chase – the last of three Grade Ones on the Grand National day card.

King George hero Hewick has emerged as a surprise contender for the JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle, with trainer John ‘Shark’ Hanlon keen to keep options open with conditions at Aintree currently testing ahead of the three-day Grand National meeting.

Famously acquired for just €850, the nine-year-old’s rags-to-riches tale as seen him become one of the most popular horses in training and he has picked up prizes such as the Galway Plate and American Grand National en route to becoming a bona fide Grade One operator.

After striking at Kempton on Boxing Day, the wet weather has already scuppered Hanlon’s plans to run Hewick in both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Randox Grand National itself this spring and the continued rainfall has seen him searching for a Merseyside alternative to running in Thursday’s Aintree Bowl.

However, the County Carlow handler has no concerns about switching to the smaller obstacles, unwilling to expose his stable star to what could be the worst of conditions on Thursday.

“We know he is as good a hurdler as he is a chaser and I’m not worried about running him over hurdles,” said Hanlon.

“We ran him in the French Champion Hurdle and he ran a cracker, the ground was just too soft and if the ground was too soft there at Aintree on Thursday and we didn’t run him, it gives us the option to run him there on Saturday.

“They are giving the weather to dry up from Tuesday on and the ground could be good again on Saturday, so if the ground was OK we would run him.

“I’ve had it in my mind for the last fortnight and he wouldn’t mind a bit of cut in the ground over hurdles, it’s just that he’s not over big himself and over fences I would be afraid he would burst his heart trying to jump out of heavy ground, which over a hurdle he won’t. It’s not that he has to have good ground, it is just that a fence looks very big to him on soft ground.

“He’s in great form and he’s worked nice. We’re just going to wait now and see and it might be that (hurdles) division this year might not be overly the best. I just have to keep all my options open.”

There are a total of 20 entries for the three-mile Grade One with Stayers’ Hurdle champion Teahupoo one of four possible runners for Gordon Elliott alongside defending champion Sire Du Berlais, Irish Point and Beacon Edge.

Stayers’ Hurdle runner-up Flooring Porter will bid to turn the tables for Gavin Cromwell, while fellow Irish raider Buddy One could seek a first Grade One victory having also acquitted himself well at the Cheltenham Festival.

Fergal O’Brien’s Crambo is among the British hopes, with dual Coral Cup winner Langer Dan taking the leap into deep waters for the trainers’ championship-seeking Dan Skelton.

The Turners Mersey Novices’ Hurdle could see record buy Caldwell Potter make his debut for Paul Nicholls, with a collection of talented novices, including Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Slade Steel, amongst the 24 initial entries.

Meanwhile, there has been little to separate Elliott’s Found A Fifty and Willie Mullins’ Il Etait Temps this season and they could lock horns for a third time in the My Pension Expert Maghull Novices’ Chase – the last of three Grade Ones on the Grand National day card.

Course specialist Mac Tottie could be rerouted from the Grand National to the Randox Supports Race Against Dementia Topham Handicap Chase if conditions at Aintree remain testing in the lead up to the weekend.

Peter Bowen’s 11-year-old is assured of his spot in the National’s final 34 on Saturday and has thrived at Aintree in the past, winning the Topham two years ago to supplement his victory over the famous spruce in the Grand Sefton earlier that season.

He was last seen scoring at the Merseyside track over the regulation fences on Boxing Day, but his quest to become the first Welsh-trained winner of the Grand National since 1905 will rest on how the track dries throughout the week, with a switch to the shorter Topham Chase a real possibility.

“We’re not sure if we’re going to run him yet,” said Bowen.

“We haven’t decided if he goes in the Topham or the National yet because the ground is going to be pretty bad. Probably if it is very soft he will probably go for the Topham.

“He loves the fences and he loves Aintree, but he’s not a lover of heavy ground though.”

Bowen has won the Topham five times in the past, but it appears both Sean and James Bowen – who have both won over the National fences aboard Mac Tottie – will be unable to receive the leg-up aboard the track regular in Friday’s two-mile-five-furlong event, with title-chasing Sean Bowen required by Olly Murphy and James Bowen inked in against defending champion Bill Baxter.

Crack Irish amateur Derek O’Connor is lined up to play the role of able deputy in the Topham, while it is James Bowen who will do the steering if Mac Tottie does go for the National on Saturday afternoon.

“I think Sean is going to ride one of Gordon’s (Elliott) in the National, it sounds like that anyway.

“If Mac Tottie runs in the National then James will ride him and Sean will be probably be on one of Gordon’s.

“James has got the favourite in the Topham and I think Sean will be riding one of Olly’s horses, Grandad Cottage, so I think Derek O’Connor will ride him if the boys don’t ride him in the Topham.”

David Menuisier’s Devil’s Point will take the first step in his three-year-old campaign in the Prix Djebel at Deauville on Tuesday.

The colt enjoyed a successful juvenile season, winning a Ffos Las maiden and then placing third and fourth respectively in the Solario Stakes and the Prix Thomas Bryon.

He then ended his year at Group One level in the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, finishing second to Godolphin’s Ancient Wisdom over a mile.

He will now begin 2024 over a lesser trip of seven furlongs when he contests the Prix Djebel, a Group Three at Deauville where he will face six rivals.

“Devil’s Point seems well, it’s a prep run and the ground will be testing but we know he likes those sorts of conditions,” said Menuisier.

“It’s the first run of the season, he is at 80 per cent but let’s hope it is enough to win tomorrow.

“We will take his races one by one and we feel he might be more efficient over seven furlongs than a mile.

“Depending on how he goes, we can then make a decision on what he does next.”

Jerome Reynier’s unbeaten gelding Lazzat steps up in grade for the contest after striking three times in three runs so far this term.

All of those performances were at Cagnes-Sur-Mer, where he won the Listed Prix de la Californie on heavy ground in February.

“He is unbeaten in three starts, he won his maiden, a class one and a Listed race – all at Cagnes-Sur-Mer in testing ground,” said Reynier.

“Tomorrow will be pretty deep and sticky, he’s running around a straight course for the first time.

“The colt trained by David Menuisier (Devil’s Point) seems to be a good benchmark to compare Lazzat, so we will see how he runs in this one.

“I am very happy with Lazzat, he looks good, has been training very well and I’m very enthusiastic about him.

“It’s going to be a good test tomorrow, it’s very exciting to run an unbeaten three-year-old so fingers crossed.”

On the same card there is another Group Three in the Prix Imprudence, a fillies’ race run over seven furlongs for which a field of seven has assembled.

Christopher Head’s highly promising Ramatuelle makes her seasonal debut in the race after a juvenile term than included successes in the Prix du Bois and the Prix Robert Papin and a second-placed run at Group One level behind the impressive Vandeek in the Prix Morny.

Charlie Appleby’s Romantic Style also kicks off her campaign in the race after wrapping up last year with a Listed victory in the six-furlong Bosra Sham at Newmarket, where she beat Cammidge Trophy fourth and subsequent Bath winner Adaay In Devon.

“We have been very pleased with how Romantic Style has done through the winter,” Appleby said via the Godolphin website.

“She won the Bosra Sham Stakes on testing ground, so similar conditions shouldn’t be an issue, but the step up to seven furlongs is the slight question mark.”

Ground conditions will be the deciding factor in whether top-weight Conflated will line up in the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday – with the weather pointing towards Delta Work as the number one contender for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud.

The 10-year-old Conflated, who holds alternative entries in the Aintree Bowl on Thursday and Friday’s Melling Chase, is one of 13 contenders for Gordon Elliott following the confirmation stage, with Coko Beach, Delta Work and Galvin also part of the three-time Grand National-winning trainer’s squad.

Conflated, Coko Beach and Delta Work all carry the colours of Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud, who are also responsible for Farouk D’Alene, Run Wild Fred and Frontal Assault, although the latter is almost certain to miss the cut.

When asked whether the first five were intended runners Gigginstown’s racing manager Eddie O’Leary said: “I would think at the moment yes, maybe Conflated might not, we’ll see how heavy the ground is going to be. If it’s very heavy he might come out to go in the Bowl or even the Melling.

“Would we chance him (in the National) over that trip on good ground yes, would we chance him over that trip on heavy ground, probably no. We’ll see what Gordon thinks.

“Coko Beach likes soft ground, but he mightn’t like what the handicapper’s done to him. He’s a lovely old horse, but he’s run it he race twice and failed to get home twice.

“We’ll obviously give him a bit more of a chance this year, rather than trying to make the running with him, but he got a big hike for winning the Troytown and off that weight (11st 7lb) it’s hard to fancy him. Conflated has to give him 5lb and Conflated would carry him.”

The Gigginstown colours have been carried to Aintree glory three times – twice by Tiger Roll and once by Rule The World. Like Tiger Roll, Delta Work is a winner of the cross-country chase at Cheltenham, although that race was called off this year, meaning a slightly less smooth preparation than had been hoped for.

O’Leary is still hopeful, however. He said: “I’d say of ours Delta Work would be the one. He’s a good horse and he’ll love the ground. It was a pity he didn’t get to run in Cheltenham after they called the cross country off as horses were trained for that to come forward for the National, but we are where we are now.”

Willie Mullins is also heavily represented, as he seeks a second victory in the world’s most famous steeplechase, having previously struck with Hedgehunter in 2005.

The Closutton handler’s nine-strong team features last year’s Irish Grand National winner I Am Maximus, fellow JP McManus-owned runner Meetingofthewaters and Mr Incredible.

Other leading hopes for Ireland include last year’s runner-up Vanillier, trained by Gavin Cromwell, the Emmet Mullins-trained 2022 National hero Noble Yeats, Martin Brassil’s Panda Boy, Mahler Mission from John McConnell’s yard and Henry de Bromhead’s 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo.

The home team is led by Corach Rambler, victorious 12 months ago and the current favourite to strike gold again following an excellent third place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month.

Kitty’s Light would be a popular winner for Welsh trainer Christian Williams, as would Gary Moore’s Welsh Grand National scorer and proven mudlark Nassalam.

Others of note among 51 confirmations include the Tom Ellis-trained Latenightpass and Dan Skelton’s mare Galia Des Liteaux, with the latter one of six horses on 10st 6lb at the bottom of the weights.

Empire Steel, Fantastic Lady, Angels Dawn and Fury Road were the four horses not left in at Monday’s confirmation stage, while Classic Getaway, Bronn and Full Back had all been scratched.

Corach Rambler is the 4-1 favourite with Coral, with I Am Maximus and Vanillier also single-figure odds.

Coral’s David Stevens said: “Fifty years on from Red Rum’s second National victory, Corach Rambler looks set to start a warm favourite to emulate the Aintree legend and win the race in successive years, although soft ground performers like I Am Maximus and Meetingofthewaters continue to attract support in the betting.”

Undercover officers will be deployed as part of Merseyside Police’s plans for the three-day Randox Grand National Festival.

Last year’s race was disrupted by protesters from the Animal Rising group, with the world’s most famous steeplechase going off nearly 15 minutes late after people made their way onto the track.

That group has stated it has no plans to repeat those actions this year, but Merseyside Police has warned it will deal “robustly” with any incidences of “anti-social behaviour, hate crime, disorder and other criminal activity”.

Racegoers have been warned to expect a series of security checks, including bag searches and badge checks, with Merseyside Police having worked alongside Aintree’s owners the Jockey Club in formulating their plans.

Superintendent Matthew Moscrop said: “As ever, we are expecting a large number of visitors to Aintree, and it is another prime opportunity to showcase what Merseyside has to offer.

“As with all big events, a considerable amount of planning from all partner organisations has been done in the run up to the three-day festival to ensure everyone who attends has a great time, and that it is memorable for all the right reasons.

“There are a number of plans in place to deal with any incidents that may arise and to prevent any significant or ongoing disruption to spectators and local residents and businesses.

“Anti-social behaviour, hate crime, disorder and other criminal activity will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly. If you see someone acting suspiciously or committing a crime, then please speak to an officer on patrol or contact us directly.

“I would also ask visitors treat the area with respect and to consider local residents who live around the racecourse.

“Visitors can help the organisers and themselves by allowing extra time to get to the course, arriving in good time and limiting the number of bags and other items they bring along. They should also expect to undergo the normal security checks, including bag searches.

“We will be deploying Project Servator officers in uniform and plain-clothes. These officers are specially trained to spot the tell-tale signs that someone may have criminal intent, such as gathering information that may help them plan or prepare to commit a crime.

“These deployments will appear at any time in and around the area of the racecourse, but the public should not be alarmed by this. Officers will be encouraging racegoers to help us make this a safe and enjoyable event by being our extra eyes and ears and to report anything suspicious to us.”

Conflated remains top-weight among the 51 horses still in contention for the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday following the confirmation stage.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned 10-year-old, who holds alternative entries in the Aintree Bowl on Thursday and Friday’s Melling Chase, is one of 13 contenders for Gordon Elliott, with Coko Beach, Delta Work and Galvin also part of the three-time Grand National-winning trainer’s squad.

Willie Mullins is also heavily represented, as he seeks a second victory in the world’s most famous steeplechase, having previously struck with Hedgehunter in 2005.

The Closutton handler’s nine-strong team features last year’s Irish Grand National winner I Am Maximus, fellow JP McManus-owned runner Meetingofthewaters and Mr Incredible.

Other leading hopes for Ireland include last year’s runner-up Vanillier, trained by Gavin Cromwell, the Emmet Mullins-trained 2022 National hero Noble Yeats, Martin Brassil’s Panda Boy, Mahler Mission from John McConnell’s yard and Henry de Bromhead’s 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo.

The home team is led by Corach Rambler, victorious 12 months ago and the current favourite to strike gold again following an excellent third place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month.

Kitty’s Light would be a popular winner for Welsh trainer Christian Williams, as would Gary Moore’s Welsh Grand National scorer and proven mudlark Nassalam.

Others of note include the Tom Ellis-trained Latenightpass and Dan Skelton’s mare Galia Des Liteaux, with the latter one of six horses on 10st 6lb at the bottom of the weights.

Empire Steel, Fantastic Lady, Angels Dawn and Fury Road were the four horses not left in at Monday’s confirmation stage, while Classic Getaway, Bronn and Full Back had all been scratched.

Conflated remains top-weight among the 52 horses still in contention for the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday following the confirmation stage.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned 10-year-old, who holds alternative entries in the Aintree Bowl on Thursday and Friday’s Melling Chase, is one of 14 contenders for Gordon Elliott, with Coko Beach, Delta Work and Galvin also part of the three-time Grand National-winning trainer’s squad.

Willie Mullins is also heavily represented, as he seeks a second victory in the world’s most famous steeplechase, having previously struck with Hedgehunter in 2005.

The Closutton handler’s nine-strong team features last year’s Irish Grand National winner I Am Maximus, fellow JP McManus-owned runner Meetingofthewaters and Mr Incredible.

Other leading hopes for Ireland include last year’s runner-up Vanillier, trained by Gavin Cromwell, the Emmet Mullins-trained 2022 National hero Noble Yeats, Martin Brassil’s Panda Boy, Mahler Mission from John McConnell’s yard and Henry de Bromhead’s 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo.

The home team is led by Corach Rambler, victorious 12 months ago and the current favourite to strike gold again following an excellent third place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month.

Kitty’s Light would be a popular winner for Welsh trainer Christian Williams, as would Gary Moore’s Welsh Grand National scorer and proven mudlark Nassalam.

Others of note include the Tom Ellis-trained Latenightpass and Dan Skelton’s mare Galia Des Liteaux, with the latter one of six horses on 10st 6lb at the bottom of the weights.

Empire Steel, Fantastic Lady and Angels Dawn were the three horses not left in at Monday’s confirmation stage, while Classic Getaway, Bronn and Full Back had all been scratched.

Harry Charlton is backing Time Lock to bring a little star quality to his string as he prepares for his first summer as the sole licence holder at Beckhampton.

Having shared the licence with his Derby-winning father Roger since 2022, the duo prepared Thesis to strike at Royal Ascot that summer and enjoyed notable success with Time Lock last term.

The daughter of Frankel registered an emphatic win in the Group Three Princess Royal Stakes at Newmarket for the joint-operation in September.

After two seasons working in tandem, Roger Charlton relinquished his share of the licence at the end of 2023, allowing his son to assume full control at the family’s Wiltshire base.

Looking forward to the new turf season kicking into gear, the new Beckhampton number one has high hopes for stable star Time Lock, with a return to the Rowley Mile for the Jockey Club Stakes on May 3 the likely first port of call for the Juddmonte-owned five-year-old.

“It’s very exciting and we’re just about to get going,” said Charlton.

“We just need it to stop raining and get some runners on the track and hopefully have some nice winners.

“We’re excited to have Time Lock still in training, she’s a nice filly and will hopefully head to the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on Guineas weekend. It’s nice to have a bit of quality around to take you to the big days, as it were.

“We’ve also got some really nice three-year-olds, so it’s exciting and the next month or two will tell us how exciting, but we’re really looking forward to getting going.”

Al Riffa is on course to return to France for his seasonal reappearance, with the Prix Ganay the starting point for a campaign Joseph O’Brien hopes will yield big-race success.

A Group One winner at two, the son of Wootton Bassett stamped himself among the top juveniles in Ireland when winning the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes in 2022.

Amongst the leading fancies for the following year’s Irish 2,000 Guineas, he missed the early part of the season and following a low-key comeback at the Curragh took on the might of Ace Impact in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville.

Although vanquished by Jean Claude-Rouget’s superstar – who would go on to retire unbeaten after victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – Al Riffa was beaten less than a length.

That was his final start as a three-year-old with a stone bruise ruling the colt out of the Irish Champion Stakes.

However, he has been kept in training and will head to ParisLongchamp for his return to action on April 28, with a Group One victory at four firmly in his sights.

“It was a really nice run at Deauville and the Irish Champion Stakes was going to be his next target but he missed that,” said O’Brien.

“We’re excited about his prospects this season and he’s on target for the Prix Ganay, that’s the plan.

“He’ll have a lot of entries, he’ll be entered in all of those top middle-distance races and we’ll take it race by race.

“We’re hoping he can be a horse that could maybe win a Group One for us this year.”

Inspiral is being prepared for a return in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes as owners Cheveley Park Stud look to continue riding a crest of a wave with their all-star mare.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the daughter of Frankel ensured she was a Group One winner for the third successive season when landing the Prix Jacques le Marois last summer.

Inspiral soon supplemented that impressive Deauville triumph with further top-level victories in the Sun Chariot Stakes and at the Breeders’ Cup, prompting the decision to keep the leading mare in training at five with Newbury’s one-mile event on May 18 an initial target.

However, if that high-class event comes too soon for the nine-times winner, then she will revert to plan B which, like 12 months ago, involves beginning her campaign at Royal Ascot in June.

“The Lockinge is the plan, but obviously she is a filly that likes to take her time to come in the spring as we’ve seen before,” explained Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud.

“Certainly the Lockinge looks the first engagement we can consider and if she tells us she’s not quite ready, then we can wait until the Queen Anne.

“She seems to be happy and well back in the yard and I watched her come up Warren Hill the other morning and she went up there nicely and quietly, so we will see how we go.”

Inspiral finished 2023 by successfully stepping up to 10 furlongs at Santa Anita when capturing the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and although connections are keen to start the new season at a mile, options over further could be explored as the summer goes on.

“I think John is keen to start her off at a mile and then we can build over the campaign hopefully, all being well. We will definitely be considering going a mile and a quarter,” continued Richardson.

“She’s five now and a lovely filly who is still maturing and developing. She had a lovely break at the stud after America and they are a long time in the paddocks, so she is a mare we can really enjoy.

“She had a nice visit to us and was out in the paddock with her usual companions. She is always very inquisitive with her ears pricked, seeing who is coming round the corner next.”

Dallas Star caused a 50-1 upset in the P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown.

The Amo Racing-owned winner finished nine lengths behind Charlie Appleby’s Derby candidate Arabian Crown in a Group Three at Newmarket in the autumn when trained by Dominic French Davis.

Switched to Adrian Murray over the winter, the Cloth Of Stars colt was sent into an early lead under Seamie Heffernan but had to battle back after Deepone struck the front.

Dallas Star handled the testing ground well, regaining the initiative in the straight to gallop home three lengths clear of Aidan O’Brien’s The Euphrates, whose stablemate and odds-on favourite Illinois was only third.

“We were on a mission today to see how we were going or where we were going to go next,” said Murray.

“He kept finding for him. Twice during the race I thought he was done for and he kept coming back.

“I never thought I’d see the day where we would be competing in the same race as Aidan O’Brien.

“I was so near to packing it in a few years ago and it’s amazing the way things can turn around. The horses are very healthy and that is a big thing.

“He’ll be entered in all the big races now I suppose and we’ll see where we go. I’ll have to chat to Kia (Joorabchian, owner) and Robson (Aguiar, part of the Amo team) and see where they want to go.

“He came to us over the winter.”

A Lilac Rolla maintained her unbeaten record with a gritty display in the Ballylinch Stud “Priory Belle” Stakes at Leopardstown.

Paddy Twomey’s filly had won both her starts at two, and she had one piece of standout form in terms of this Group Three.

She had finished in front of Aidan O’Brien’s Opera Singer at the Curragh in August, with that filly going on to win the Prix Marcel Boussac by five lengths.

Sent off at 9-2, A Lilac Rolla’s rider Billy Lee was keen not to let Seamie Heffernan get too far clear on Kitty Rose and from a long way out the two had it between themselves.

Both of them stuck to the task gamely but it was A Lilac Rolla who just came out on top by a head, with the pair almost three lengths clear of Buttons in third.

“I think she’s a good filly and I’d hoped she would do something like that,” said Twomey.

“I haven’t run her since she won the second time last year as she just grew and I wanted to give her the time. I’m glad I did and she’s trained well all winter.

“I was looking forward to coming here today, although the heavy ground was a concern as her form was on good ground. She’s uncomplicated and she’s tough.

“She had every chance to curl up if she wanted to but she didn’t.

“We’re lucky that we have good horses and good owners. I’m very well supported and appreciative of that.”

A Lilac Rolla maintained her unbeaten record with a gritty display in the Ballylinch Stud “Priory Belle” Stakes at Leopardstown.

Paddy Twomey’s filly had won both her starts at two, and she had one piece of standout form in terms of this Group Three.

She had finished in front of Aidan O’Brien’s Opera Singer at the Curragh in August, with that filly going on to win the Prix Marcel Boussac by five lengths.

Sent off at 9-2, A Lilac Rolla’s rider Billy Lee was keen not to let Seamie Heffernan get too far clear on Kitty Rose and from a long way out the two had it between themselves.

Both of them stuck to the task gamely but it was A Lilac Rolla who just came out on top by a head, with the pair almost three lengths clear of Buttons in third.

“I think she’s a good filly and I’d hoped she would do something like that,” said Twomey.

“I haven’t run her since she won the second time last year as she just grew and I wanted to give her the time. I’m glad I did and she’s trained well all winter.

“I was looking forward to coming here today, although the heavy ground was a concern as her form was on good ground. She’s uncomplicated and she’s tough.

“She had every chance to curl up if she wanted to but she didn’t.

“We’re lucky that we have good horses and good owners. I’m very well supported and appreciative of that.”

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