The Bet365 Feilden Stakes is the highlight on the opening day of Newmarket’s Craven meeting, where Salouen puts his Group-race form on the line against six rivals.
SALOUEN puts his solid Group-race form on the line when he makes his seasonal debut in the bet365 Feilden Stakes at Newmarket on Tuesday.
The Canford Cliffs colt may have only won two minor events as a two-year-old but he ended the campaign by being placed in both the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Chantilly and the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
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Trainer Sylvester Kirk reports Salouen to have thrived over the winter and is excited at starting off his three-year-old season.
“It will be interesting to see if he’s come on and improved. I’m looking forward to it,” said Kirk.
“He’s strengthened up over the winter and done very well and he seems to be in good form.
“We’ll find out tomorrow if he has improved.”
He added: “I’d rather have waited another 10 days, but I’ve got Ryan (Moore) to ride and the ground is good. I’d rather do that than wait and find it’s slower ground at Sandown (for the Classic Trial). You don’t always know what ground you’re going to get.”
Though Salouen has several pounds in hand of his rivals on bare form, it has not deterred six from taking him on.
Al Hamdany improved throughout last season and his trainer Marco Botti is happy to pitch the son of Kodiac into Listed company for a second time after he was second to D’Bai at Pontefract in October.
“He progressed all the way through last season. He finished second in a Listed race at the back-end of last season on soft ground,” said Botti.
“He’s done really well over the winter and looks stronger this year.
“Obviously the favourite is rated 110 so we have a few pounds to find, but he’s in good form and I expect him to run a big race.
“It’s a stepping stone to which route to take this year. He’s rated 97.”
Of the others, Mark Johnston’s Montataire was fourth in the Group Three Autumn Stakes, while the James Tate-trained Law And Order made a winning reappearance in a Listed contest at Lingfield earlier this month.
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