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Fellowes expecting bold Temple bid from Vadream

Fellowes expecting bold Temple bid from Vadream
Fellowes expecting bold Temple bid from Vadream

Charlie Fellowes expects conditions at Haydock to bring out the best in his star sprinter Vadream when she lines up in the Betfred Temple Stakes.

The six-year-old has produced the keynote performances of her career so far when the mud has been flying, with victories in the Bengough Stakes at Ascot, the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster and the Palace House at Newmarket all achieved on soft or heavy ground.

She notably inflicted a half-length defeat on the reopposing subsequent Nunthorpe hero Live In The Dream in the Palace House at Newmarket last spring – and having come within a head of successfully defending her crown last time out, Fellowes is confident she will make her presence felt on Saturday.

Vadream (right) beating Live In The Dream in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket
Vadream (right) beating Live In The Dream in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket (Nigel French/PA)

“She’s had a really good start to the year. She normally takes two or three runs to really get into a rhythm, but she’s already run two really good races this spring,” said the Newmarket handler.

“I said before her seasonal debut at Bath I felt like we’d had a really good preparation and she’s put in two big runs on ground that she’s absolutely fine on, but if you are a mudlark and handle those testing conditions it’s such a big advantage, and it looks like she’s going to get them this weekend.

“She beat Live In The Dream last year on this ground, she goes there in cracking order, we’ve got a top jockey on board (Danny Tudhope) and when she gets this ground, she is very, very, very good.

“It was a massive shame that last year she never got her ground in the big ones. Bar the King’s Stand, we sidestepped all the big ones over five furlongs, which I’m convinced is her best trip, because the ground was just too quick in all of them – the Nunthorpe, the Flying Five and the Prix de l’Abbaye.

“One of them has got to come up on soft ground this year and if they do, she’ll be very dangerous.”

Live In The Dream is set to make his first competitive appearance since finishing fourth at the Breeders’ Cup in November for Epsom-based trainer Adam West, who said: “Touch wood, everything has been going really well, I’m very happy with him and he looks the most mature he’s been, so we’re hopeful for another big year.

“We’ve trained him this year with the Breeders’ Cup down the line in mind. He’s going to Haydock with the best amount of ability that I’ve seen him with, but maybe this race will bring him on.

“He’s the best I’ve ever seen him mentally and physically, but fitness-wise sprinters will normally need a run, especially at this top level.”

Australian challenger Asfoora brings an international flavour to proceedings as she warms up for an appearance at Royal Ascot next month.

Asfoora (right) working on the gallops at Newmarket
Asfoora (right) working on the gallops at Newmarket (Jockey Club)

Trainer Henry Dwyer said: “She’s terrific, she’s been here three and a half weeks now. We’ve given her a fair bit of breathing space since she’s been here, we haven’t really tightened the screws yet, and I couldn’t be any happier with how she looks, how she is and how her work’s been.

“We’re pretty adaptable, she’s a good mare who has won races on pretty firm tracks but her best ground in my opinion is what we’d call a soft five or a soft six.

“She broke the track record at Sandown (in Australia) one day early on in her career on a soft six, which is pretty much unheard of. Your track records here are usually set on flint-hard tracks, but she really appreciates getting her toe in.

“Her best asset is, to state the obvious, she’s a fast horse, but she’s not one of the hard-going sprinters that you see that gets tired late. She’s a sprinter that can sit on a really high cruising speed and she can either take a seat or she can lead, it doesn’t really matter.”

Further strength in depth is added by Tom Clover’s Rogue Lightning, who will carry the Wathnan Racing colours for the first time after being bought for £1million from former owners The Rogues Gallery at the Goffs Qipco Champions Day sale in October.

The four-year-old won two handicaps and a Listed prize prior to finishing a close-up fifth in the Prix de l’Abbaye last season and remains in training with Clover, who is looking forward to his return.

He said: “He’s trained lovely this spring and he won on reasonably testing ground at Doncaster in what was the Scarbrough Stakes, so I think he handles soft ground OK.

“Ideally, I’d love to be running him on good to firm ground because you can use the speed he has, he’s a very fast horse, but at the same time I think he’ll handle this ground and it shouldn’t be a problem.

“He’s done some lovely work at home and has just improved each week. He’s coming to hand nicely now and I would hope he’ll be peaking through the summer, but I hope he’s straight enough to go to Haydock and run a really nice race.”

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