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RACING: High hopes for Hector
Brazilian-born trainer Ivan Furtado challenged Hector’s Here to a continue his fine run of form when he reports for duty at the first leg of Beverley’s big double-header on Friday evening.
The three-year-old colt has been in solid nick all year, and neatly illustrated the point at Hamilton on June 19.
Sent off a 5-1 chance for a nine-furlong handicap at the Scottish circuit, the son of Cityscape made absolutely no mistake under Trevor Whelan.
That two-and-a-quarter triumph, which was achieved on fast ground, has seen Hector’s Here rise 6lb in the ratings.
But Furtado is convinced his inmate is still progressing ahead of the Gemma Platten Memorial Handicap (7.45) over eight and a half furlongs.
The Nottinghamshire-based handler said: “He won well at Hamilton last time and is ready to run again.
“I thought the trip might have been too far for him that day, but he got away with and hopefully it will be the same at Beverley.
“Ideally, we’d like to see a bit of cut in the ground, though. He can handle it fast but when there’s a bit of rain around you will see more improvement from him as he has the right action for that sort ground.
“He’s done well all year and deserved to win at Hamilton, but we’ve decided to put the cheekpieces on for the first time to help him concentrate a bit better.
“I’d be disappointed if he didn’t run well again.”
Hector’s Here faces five rivals on the Westwood, including Hunterwali, who won by seven lengths at Beverley last time out.
The race is named in loving memory of Gemma Platten, who tragically died last year at the age of 41. Gemma was a keen racing fan and used to work in the industry for a long time.
Furtado will have added interest on the card as he saddles Diamond Pursuit in the Pure Broadband Selling Stakes (6.10) over seven and a half furlongs.
The trainer, who has secured three winners from 37 runners at Beverley, added: “She’s a limited horse, to be honest, and it’s debatable whether this trip will suit her.
“We’ll give it a go from a tricky draw, though, and this is at least a drop in grade.
“She’ll win one day when things drop her way, but I’d be more hopeful than confident.”
Gates open for 70s Racenight, featuring legendary dance troupe Bus Stop, at 4pm, with the first of six races due off at 6.10pm.
The going is reported as being good to firm, with a high of 20C forecast for Friday evening.