Muir eyeing Winter Derby for Restorer ahead of 32Red Floodlit Stakes return

October 31st, 2016 Fast-Track Qualifier

Western Hymn is one of several high-profile performers engaged in the £40,000 Listed 32Red Floodlit Stakes (7.55pm, eight runners) on Polytrack at Kempton Park on Wednesday, November 2.

The 12-furlong contest boasts an excellent roll of honour with subsequent Group One scorers Pether’s Moon (2013), Prince Bishop (2011), Mastery (2010) and Spanish Moon (2008) all winning in recent years.

Western Hymn (John Gosden/Robert Havlin) has reached the frame three times at Group One  level, most recently when third behind My Dream Boat and Found in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes over 10 furlongs at Royal Ascot in June.

The five-year-old has not matched that form in four subsequent starts and was last seen out when fifth in the G3 St Simon Stakes at Newbury on October 22.

Western Hymn currently has a 100 per cent record on the All-Weather and at Kempton Park, having won there impressively in a mile maiden on debut back in 2013. He wears a visor for the first time on Wednesday.

Restorer (William Muir/Martin Dwyer) is set for his first start since finishing fourth in the G2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in the spring.

The grey four-year-old Mastercraftsman colt proved himself at Listed level last October with a comfortable victory in the 10-furlong James Seymour Stakes at Newmarket. He was a non-runner in the same race this year due to the ground.

Muir said today: “Restorer had a knee operation after his run in the Jockey Club Stakes. It was something that had needed tidying up for a while so we decided to do it and he has come back really good.

“The reason we didn’t run him at Newmarket on Saturday was because of the rough going. I think, had it been soft like last year, he would have gone very close.

“He never puts a foot wrong and always works like a very good horse. I am not so certain Kempton is his ideal track and I think he is probably better suited to 10 furlongs rather than 12 furlongs, but that’s not to say he doesn’t get it.

“The plan after this would be to give him a break and come back for the Winter Derby (All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier sponsored by Betway, G3, 10f, Lingfield Park, February 25) so that he is ready for the early part of next season.”

The other class droppers in the line-up are Berkshire (Paul Cole/Jim Crowley), fifth in the G2 Prix du Conseil du Paris last time out, and Star Storm (James Fanshawe/Tom Queally) who was eighth when bidding for back-to-back victories in G3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot on October 1.

The field is completed by last year’s runner-up Hamelin (George Scott/Adam Kirby), and once-raced maiden scorer Hell Yeah (Brendan Powell/Fergus Sweeney), plus the Mark Johnston-trained fillies Kiltara (Joe Fanning) and Yorkidding (Richard Kingscote).

Kempton Park’s eight-race card on Wednesday starts at 4.55pm and concludes at 8.25pm.