Gazette Thursday horse racing selections: Seek out Walker's Quality prospect

Warwick stages a Thursday meeting
Warwick stages a Thursday meeting
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Quality Seeker has plenty in his favour as he seeks to open his all-weather account in Chelmsford’s Extra Places At Handicap.

Quality Seeker has plenty in his favour as he seeks to open his all-weather account in Chelmsford’s Extra Places At Handicap.

Ed Walker’s three-year-old colt has the cheekpieces on for the first time, and they may just help to do the trick on his seventh career outing.

Quality Seeker is back at the track where he was slowly away on an otherwise promising debut 11 months ago and after a winter break, he has since progressed steadily.

He was a narrow winner on the turf on his handicap debut over this distance at Windsor in July and back on the all-weather at Kempton, again at a mile at the end of the following month, was beaten less than two lengths in third.

He outran his 20-1 odds that day, from off the pace behind two progressive opponents, and the headgear may help Liam Keniry keep him in the thick of it here.

Bubbly can spark the celebrations earlier in the day, for Charlie Fellowes’ yard and owners Elite Racing Club in the Lingfield Fillies’ Handicap.

The three-year-old makes her handicap debut, after three all-weather starts in novice company, and will need to take a leap forward against more experienced rivals.

She was no match for odds-on favourite Dixieland Diva in an otherwise uncompetitive race at Wolverhampton last month, but still shaped well enough in second and has been introduced at a realistic level.

John Gosden has a huge weekend coming up and can keep tings ticking over with Gaudi in division two of the 188Bet Extra Place Races Maiden Stakes.

The Invincible Spirit colt made a most promising return to action after an absence of 306 days at Chelmsford last month.

Slightly tapped for toe off the bend, he stayed on well for pressure to be beaten a length and a half by Charlie Appleby-trained hotpot Auxerre.

Assuming he will be sharper still for that outing, he sets a fair standard for the rest to aim at in this mile heat.

At Warwick, Maria’s Benefit is an eyecatching runner in the UBS Beginners’ Chase.

There may be plenty of pace on around this exacting track for chase newcomers, but few will be able to keep tabs on Stuart Edmunds’ mare.

She stormed to five successive hurdles wins at around this trip last season, and had a mark of 152 by the time she bumped into the mighty Laurina at the Cheltenham Festival.

If Maria’s Benefit adapts quickly to her new job, she will take some stopping.

In the opening race at the same venue, the Wee Maggie Dixte 50th Birthday ‘National Hunt’ Novices Hurdle, Al Dancer is another set to ply a new trade.

The five-year-old grey showed promise in bumpers last season, initially for Christian Williams, and appeared to consolidate the improvement when switched to Nigel Twiston-Davies.


CHELMSFORD: 5.45 Dotty Grand, 6.15 Material Girl, 6.45 Allmankind, 7.15 QUALITY SEEKER (NAP), 7.45 Contingency Fee, 8.15 Spiced, 8.45 Penny Pot Lane, 9.15 Social Butterfly.

CLONMEL: 2.05 Visioman, 2.35 Shush, 3.10 Kuiper Belt, 3.40 Swingbridge, 4.15 The Red Menace, 4.45 Redwood Boy, 5.20 Miss Aloud.

HUNTINGDON: 2.00 Royal Household, 2.30 Canyouringmeback, 3.05 Panko, 3.35 Peppay Le Pugh, 4.10 Kristal Hart, 4.40 Sauvignon, 5.15 Invisible Shadow.

LINGFIELD: 1.50 Space Talk, 2.20 Algaffaal, 2.55 Gaudi, 3.25 Fox Fearless, 4.00 Attainment, 4.30 Bubbly, 5.05 Perla Blanca, 5.35 Staffa.

WARWICK: 2.10 Al Dancer, 2.45 Kingsplace, 3.15 Maria’s Benefit, 3.50 Marble Moon, 4.20 Miss Crick, 4.55 Maire Banrigh.