Racing: Hitchens can prove evergreen

Horseracing: News, reports and more.
Horseracing: News, reports and more.
Have your say

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Hitchens can defy a penalty and his advancing years to land the Betfred Garrowby Stakes at York.

The evergreen eight-year-old showed he was no back-number when swooping to land a similar prize at Chester last month, being ridden to perfection by Graham Gibbons and quickening well when switched to challenge.

He had a 7lb penalty on the Roodee and it was no mean effort by the David Barron-trained gelding, who has generally been in great heart this year, having been on the go since Meydan in January.

Barron has given him a relatively easy time of it through the summer, as he did last year, and it was only a couple of runs ago he was beating Reply to claim a Group Three in Ireland.

There are question marks about one or two of his rivals in terms of ground and while Hitchens is best on a sound surface, he does handle some cut.

Crucially he has a liking for York, rarely running a bad race on the Knavesmire.

Fragonard is a slightly speculative pick in the Coopers Marquees Stakes.

The Sir Robert Ogden-owned, Lady Cecil-trained filly made a promising two-year-old debut but missed the whole of last year through injury.

Her return at Kempton in June was quite promising but she was disappointing the following month at Lingfield.

If you are prepared to forgive that, she remains a lightly-raced sort and is probably capable of quite a bit better on her handicap bow off a mark of 75, with the yard going well and this being a favourite track of the owner.

Pearl Spice makes some appeal in the Castles UK Educational And Residential Furniture Stakes stepping back up to two miles.

Tim Pitt’s gelding has found this trip to his liking with wins at Nottingham and Kempton but was foiled in a hat-trick bid under a double penalty at Musselburgh.