Shakespeare will write fresh chapter

Royal Shakespeare can make a winning start to his new career over fences in the Para Dressage Training Trust Novices' Chase at Fakenham.

Royal Shakespeare can make a winning start to his new career over fences in the Para Dressage Training Trust Novices' Chase at Fakenham.

Last year's BHB Order of Merit winner proved a consistent performer over hurdles, even if he did just fall slightly short of top class.

However, trainer Steve Gollings reports his schooling to have gone well and Royal Shakespeare is a useful individual.

Having started on the level in Dubai, the seven-year-old moved to Gollings' care in 2004 and has since won five of his 24 starts over hurdles. Placed in Grade One company, Royal Shakespeare enjoyed a red-letter day when winning the Elite Hurdle last term and proved his well-being with a third in that event last month.

He finished four-and-a-half lengths behind Crow Wood but his lack of extra acceleration should not prove so crucial here.

Almaydan can show the benefit of a pipe-opener over hurdles in the East Anglia Handicap Chase. Richard Lee's eight-year-old is a useful tool on his day and started favourite for the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival two seasons ago.

His form may not appear outstanding but he has been plying his trade in the top handicaps at the big meetings.

He showed he has lost none of his dash with a fine victory over the fair yardstick Bleu Superbe at Southwell last January and was not disgraced behind Kalca Mome at Haydock a month later.

Best on the top of the ground, these conditions should be to his liking.

The opener, the "Break Charity" - Special People Special Care - Juvenile Maiden Hurdle, can go to Prince Ary.

Switched to the care of the new master of Pond House, David Pipe, after a career on the level for Barry Hills, he was pitched in at the deep end for his debut over timber.

Not surprisingly he came up short against the likes of Katchit and Freeze The Flame but travelled well for a long way.

With his sights lowered here, he can pay his way in the winter game.

Lordswood looked promising winning last time and can make it a double in the Nursery.

After two starts on turf, he appreciated the switch to the all-weather when holding Marine Parade by a short head at this track last month.

Apprentice William Buick teams up with the colt again and his 7lb claim can put the icing on the cake.

Regional racing is on offer at Wolverhampton and Khetaab looks the best in the first division of the Twilight Racing And Supper Banded Stakes.

Today's saraband selections

fakenham: 12.50 Prince Ary, 1.20 Royal Shakespeare (nap), 1.50 Avalon, 2.20 Almaydan, 2.50 Ca Na Trona, 3.20 Istanbul.

LINGFIELD: 12.10 Davidia, 12.40 Jade's Ballet, 1.10 For Life, 1.40 Spring Glory, 2.10 Kabeer, 2.40 Lordswood, 3.10 Picador.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 1.00 Iceni Warrior, 1.30 Ballare, 2.00 Khetaab, 2.30 Primarily, 3.00 Red River Rock, 3.30 Tobago Reef, 4.00 Island Green, 4.30 Cree.

DOUBLE: Royal Shakespeare and Lordswood.


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