GBI RACING

Advertise puts forward Royal Ascot claims with Newbury debut success

Martyn Meade has a live Royal Ascot candidate in the shape of Advertise (Adam Davy/PA)

Advertise could be heading for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot after making a striking racecourse debut at Newbury.

The son of Showcasing, trained by Martyn Meade, displayed an admirable professional attitude to take division one of the Welcome To The Starlight Raceday Maiden Stakes over six furlongs.

Held up by Richard Kingscote in the early stages as Alfie Solomons made the running, Advertise (4-1 joint-favourite) quickened in good style to lead inside the final half-furlong and score by three-quarters of a length from Pogo.

“I’m thrilled to bits with that, it was very good. He’d been really working well at home, but until you get on the racetrack you don’t know for sure,” said Meade.

“He did it really professionally, which is the key to it and for him to deal with all the preliminaries.

“He’s a very exciting prospect now. I think we’ve got to consider the Coventry on that showing. That will be our first port of call if he comes out of the race fine.”

Advertise’s time of one minute 13.67 seconds was 0.17 seconds faster than The Paddocks (6-1) took to claim division two by a head from fellow newcomer Blonde Warrior, in the hands of Tom Marquand for trainer Richard Hannon.

Ice Age (7-1) earned consideration for the Wokingham Stakes at the Royal meeting by going one better than 12 months ago to win the Starlight Wishes Handicap.

Always to the fore under Charles Bishop, Eve Johnson Houghton’s five-year-old held on gamely by three-quarters of a length from Baron Bolt.

“I’m thrilled with him. He’s a lovely, bonny horse. He loves racing and always tries his best,” said Johnson Houghton.

“He ran well in this race last year off a much lower mark, so he’s improved a bit since then.

“I think we’ll head off to the Wokingham now.”

Al Muffrih looks set for better things after gamely making all to get off the mark in the Martin Gray Celebration British EBF Maiden Stakes.

Third on his only previous start behind Lingfield Derby Trial winner Knight To Behold in October, the William Haggas-trained colt was sent on his way by James Doyle from a wide draw straight from the start of the 10-furlong heat.

He had all his rivals beaten off, apart from Mini P, who looked a real menace well inside the final furlong, but the 10-11 favourite pulled out a bit more in the dying strides to win by a neck.

“I thought it was a good performance. He’s obviously a useful horse to come from that gate (15), run keenish, then to be clear and still win,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum.

“It’s too soon to make any definite plans. He’s in everything, but he won’t be running in our Derby, that’s for sure.

“William thought he was good last year and he was third first time out. Unfortunately he missed a race earlier on at Newmarket when William wanted to run him. This was the next one, so it’s good.”

Al Muffrih holds entries in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

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