Sensational Six For Benoit? In-Form Jockey Heads To Nottingham On Thursday

Benoit De La Sayette bids to continue fine form at Nottingham 

5lb claimer Benoit De La Sayette continues in terrific form, operating at an incredible 27% strike rate (7-26) in recent weeks and appears to have a fine book of rides on Thursday at Nottingham, with four of his six mounts pencilled in as potential market leaders. Our expert editor has delved into the form of each of the six runners and provided their analysis below. 

TUDDENHAM MILL – 13:10 (Follow racingtv On Twitter Restricted Maiden Stakes)

The jockey has been seen to great effect when riding for Kevin Philippart De Foy this season (25% strike rate) and the pair can team up for another winner courtesy of TUDDENHAM MILL, who shaped with plenty of encouragement on his debut at Windsor at the back end of last month. 

Sent off 9/1 on that occasion, the son of Holy Roman Emperor ran a tremendous race to finish third despite showing clear signs of inexperience throughout the six-furlong contest. Beaten just a head at the line, the two-year-old will be expected to take a significant step forward following his recent racecourse introduction and appears to have solid claims in getting off the mark at the second attempt. 

APHELIOS – 13:45 (Happy Birthday Donna Blore Handicap)

It could very well be a quick-fire double for the rider as APHELIOS also holds a strong chance in the second contest on Nottingham’s seven-race card. 

Roger Charlton’s Kodiac gelding had shown promise in his opening three starts without getting his head in front in novice and maiden company, however, Aphelios made no mistake on his handicap debut at Windsor last month off an opening mark of 70, travelling powerfully throughout before finding extra on the run the line to run out a comfortable winner. 

The jockey’s useful 5lb claim negates the subsequent rise in the weights and in receipt of weight from his two market rivals on Thursday, Aphelios should be tough to beat and a second career victory appears very much on the cards. 

MISSY’S HOBBS – 14:20 ( Fillies’ Novice Stakes)

Benoit De La Sayette will have to be at his brilliant best to get MISSY’S HOBBS into the winner’s enclosure in Nottingham’s third race. Sent off big prices in her two starts so far, the three-year-old filly has shown very little in her outings at Salisbury and Kempton, trailing home on both occasions and beaten an aggregate of 23 lengths. 

She faces some interesting rivals in the form of Wonderful Times and Qabilah on Thursday and will be of more interest when lining up in handicaps further down the line. 

COUNSEL – 14:55 (Bet At Novice Stakes)

Although COUNSEL will have to overcome a 369-day break on Thursday afternoon, the four-year-old appears to be Benoit De La Sayette’s strongest chance of riding a winner. 

Despite failing to get off the mark in his four career starts so far, Counsel has some solid form to his name and it seems fairly significant that top connections have kept him in training this season. A neck second at Newbury in an ultra-competitive maiden last April, he then seemingly failed to cope with the step up to ten furlongs and the soft ground when a disappointing favourite at Sandown on his next start. Back to form over a mile at Newmarket on his final start as 3yo, he bumped into William Haggas’ subsequent multiple Group 1 winner Baaeed when finishing third in novice company. 

Officially rated 86, Counsel should take plenty of beating on his seasonal return and connections will be disappointed if the well-bred four-year-old fails to capitalise on what appears to be a golden opportunity for him to shed the maiden tag. 

ADJUDICATOR – 15:30 (Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap)

Formerly with Joseph Tuite, ADJUDICATOR has really started to find his form in his recent outings for trainer Kevin Philippart De Foy. 

A creditable third at Newmarket back in May over seven furlongs, the three-year-old wasn’t beaten far behind a pair of subsequent winners in the shape of Truely Acclaimed (now rated 90) and Golden Spice (now rated 86). Second at Goodwood on his following start, Adjudicator returned to winning ways earlier this month under Benoit De La Sayette at Sandown. Staying on strongly inside the final furlong, the three-year-old was produced just at the right time to narrowly prevail by a nose ahead of Stockpyle. 

Although Adjudicator was disappointing on his last and only start over a mile, the three-year-old appears ready for another crack over this slightly longer trip on Thursday afternoon and connections will be confident that he can make light work of a subsequent 4lb rise. 

STONE CIRCLE – 16:05 (Visit Handicap)

STONE CIRCLE capitalised on his career-low mark of 60 when returning to winning ways at Chepstow just three days ago. Remarkably, that was Stone Circle’s first start at five furlongs, but given the manner of victory, there should be more to come from the five-year-old as he looks to double up over the minimum trip on Thursday. 

Ridden by rising star Harry Davies on that occasion, Michael Bell’s five-year-old never looked to be in any danger during the Class 6 contest and was merely pushed out towards the line to record a comfortable success. 

A subsequent 5lb rise still leaves him well-treated on his past exploits and the five-year-old appears to have leading claims in recording a quick double in this 0-65 handicap under Benoit De La Sayette.