Craig Lidster has called on the services of Arc-winning rider Cristian Demuro as Land Lover forms part of a three-pronged Nick Bradley Racing assault on the British EBF 40th Anniversary Woodcote Stakes.
Demuro – who is Italian but primarily rides in France – is making the trip to Epsom to partner Heartache Tonight for David Menuisier in the Betfred Oaks and will get the chance for a sighter of the Surrey Downs aboard Lidster’s Land Force colt, who caught the eye when fourth in a competitive maiden at York on debut.
Land Lover now steps up in trip to six furlongs – a distance the Yorkshire handler believes will suit his charge – as he joins Amy Murphy’s Ripon runner-up Fifty Grand Slater and Kevin Philippart De Foy’s Maymay representing the Nick Bradley Racing syndicate that won this contest with Oscula two years ago.
“He ran a good race at York in what looked a nice novice,” said Lidster.
“Take nothing away from him, but he wasn’t as fit as I would have liked that day and he has come on from that run. We’re pretty sweet on him.
“It’s giving the owners a nice day out and what will be will be, but I think six furlongs will suit. He was never a five-furlong horse in our eyes, but York is just down the road and he needed the run. So we put him in that nice race to see what would happen and to be fair to him, he came up trumps and finished a nice fourth.
“That paved the way for thinking this horse could be above average and Nick Bradley thought while everyone is thinking of Ascot why don’t we think Woodcote.”
On the booking of Demuro he added: “Nick said he rides a lot for him in France and was coming over for the meeting and asked if he could book him. Sam James has had to reroute up to Carlisle otherwise it would have been his ride.”
It could prove to be a red-letter weekend for Lidster if his venture south proves successful and 24 hours after Land Lover’s run in the Woodcote, he could saddle Dickieburd in the inaugural Aston Martin 3YO “Dash'” Handicap.
A maximum of 14 will go to post for the five-furlong contest and Lidster is left sweating ahead of declarations with his three-year-old on the cusp of making the final line-up.
“I think it’s the best decision all year to put in a race like that and we’ve put our apprentice on to take the 7lb off,” he continued.
“He’s in great order at home and we’re going there with the hope that we might get in.
“If we do we’ll need the luck of the draw, but he’s a very fast horse and a front-runner and we know Epsom is the fastest five furlongs in the world and a front-runners track so hopefully it will play to his strengths a little bit.”