Martyn Meade believes Aclaim has "big chance" in Park test at Doncaster

Fri 15 Sep 2017

By staff

Martyn Meade believes Saturday's Alan Wood Plumbing And Heating Park Stakes at Doncaster represents a good opportunity for Aclaim to get back on the winning trail.

The four-year-old rounded off last season with three consecutive victories, sealing his hat-trick with a Group Two triumph in the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket.

He has failed to add to his tally so far this term, but has kept good company and ran easily his best race of the campaign when beaten just half a length into second by Brando in the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last month.

"On the form of his last run, he goes there with a big chance," said Meade of the general 3-1 chance."The ground should be in his favour. He's drawn in stall eight, which isn't ideal, but on the straight course it doesn't make too much difference.

"He came into his own in the autumn last year and hopefully he'll do the same this season."

Meade already has one eye on a return to France later in the year, adding: "He's in great form, hopefully he'll run a big race and it will leave him right for the Prix de la Foret on Arc day at Chantilly."

The David Simcock-trained Breton Rock claimed the Group Two prize by a short head 12 months ago but having landed the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood on his penultimate start, he must concede weight all round on his return to Town Moor.

The seven-year-old was last seen finishing fourth in Newbury's Hungerford Stakes.

"Breton Rock has given his owner a lot of fun and taken him to some very smart meetings. That's what it's all about," Simcock told At The Races. "He ran absolutely fine at Newbury. He probably lost a length or a length and a half in the run, but he ran to his rating.

"He finds it hard to carry a penalty. I don't think he's ever been in the first three with a penalty and, unfortunately, on Saturday he's got a penalty for winning the Lennox.

"We go there open-minded. He's in good form and he'll get easy ground, which is quite important to him."

Hugo Palmer's Home Of The Brave was just half a length behind Breton Rock at Goodwood and is set to renew rivalry as long as conditions do not deteriorate.

Palmer said: "He hasn't done much wrong this year and ran a really good race at Goodwood, fighting all the way to the line to see off a few horses, including a Group One winner in Limato.

"To be fair to him, apart from when we ran him over the wrong trip at the Breeders' Cup, I think probably his last disappointing run was in this race two years ago. It's a strong-looking renewal and plenty have claims.

"We're hoping the ground is going to dry out. If they get any more significant rain, we would probably give it a swerve. He's run some good races when the ground has been on the soft side of good, but he does not want it soft and tacky."

Aidan O'Brien fires a twin assault, with Spirit Of Valor and Peace Envoy making the journey from Ireland.

Andrew Balding is hoping the ground dries out to help Viscount Barfield, who was third to Dutch Connection in the Supreme Stakes at Goodwood on his latest start.

"He's been very consistent all year. He wouldn't want much more rain. If the ground dries it would suit him and hopefully he'll be competitive," said the Kingsclere trainer.

Nathra (John Gosden) and Sir Dancealot (David Elsworth) complete the line-up.

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