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McCreery: Downforce has autumn as a target

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Trainer Willie McCreery

Trainer Willie McCreery

PA

Trainer Willie McCreery

Downforce is set for an autumn campaign according to trainer Willie McCreery.

The eight-year-old finished second in four of his six outings last term, but his need for cut in the ground is set to limit his opportunities, with racing currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

McCreery said: "Downforce was ready to run, but he'll have to wait now and probably won't run now until the autumn. He loves really soft ground."

Downforce is twice a Listed scorer and stablemate Ickworth also struck at that level last term, winning the First Flier Stakes at the Curragh last May.

However, she enjoyed no luck in five subsequent starts and McCreery is keen to use her pace this season.

"She will run in anything around four furlongs!" he quipped.

"There is a race for three-year-old fillies in Cork and also a race in Bath.

"She reared up as the stalls opened at Ascot (in the Queen Mary Stakes) and took no part. It was actually lucky as the ground had gone soft and she wouldn't have run her race anyway.

"She has loads of pace and found it hard to negotiate the bend in Dundalk one day. There are plenty of five-furlong races for her and the likes of Tipperary would suit her.

"She's very small so she can't run in a handicap, so it would have to be a conditions race that would suit her. We might have to travel a bit with her."

Meanwhile, Thunderous and Fantail are two potential Classic prospects to look forward to this year in the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing silks.

A Mark Johnston-trained Night Of Thunder colt, Thunderous ended his juvenile season unbeaten in three starts, picking up Listed honours in the Denford Stakes at Newbury in August.

Also hopefully in the big-race picture for Highclere is the once-raced filly Fantail, trained by Simon Crisford.