Menu
  News Simply Wings out to soar at Newbury in Sir Peter O'Sullevan memorial

Simply Wings out to soar at Newbury in Sir Peter O'Sullevan memorial

racing

Kerry Lee believes Simply Wings' liking for Newbury can compensate for his high rating when he attempts to win the inaugural running of the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase at Newbury today.

Kerry Lee believes Simply Wings' liking for Newbury can compensate for his high rating when he attempts to win the inaugural running of the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase at Newbury today.

A competitive field of 17 has been declared for a new race that honours the BBC commentator, fondly remembered as 'the voice of racing', who died in July at the age of 97.

His last call for the BBC was in the Hennessy Gold Cup at this meeting on November 29, 1997, won by Suny Bay.

Up to that point, O'Sullevan had only missed one Hennessy since its inception in 1957.

Coincidentally, O'Sullevan saw his colours carried to victory in the very next race, the Fulke Walwyn Chase, by Sounds Fyne, trained by Jimmy FitzGerald and ridden by Mick Fitzgerald.

Simply Wings has gone up 4lb for his victory at Southwell earlier this month on his first start since he was pulled up at Punchestown in April.

Before that, he had run a big race in a Grade Three at Newbury, when third to Sound Investment.

"I was delighted when he won at Southwell," said Lee, who took over the reins at the family's Presteigne stables when her father Richard retired in July.

"He's now on a career-high mark, but we know he likes Newbury. He ran a super race in the Greatwood Gold Cup back at the end of February. It was a good run so we know he likes it there.

"He's been in fine form after Southwell so we are going to take our chance on soft ground which we know he likes."

Oliver Sherwood was hoping the race would not be as competitive as it has turned out as Morning Reggie has his first start since early May.

"I thought the race would cut up a bit more, to be honest, but with it being Hennessy day people want runners," said the Upper Lambourn trainer.

"It's his first run - he's bound to need it, as most of mine do - but he'll run his race. We're still learning about the horse, really, so we'll see how he goes."

Alan King would prefer a longer distance for Midnight Prayer, winner of the four-mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in 2014, but is just pleased to get him back on the track for the first time since finishing last of the nine finishers in the Hennessy 12 months ago.

"It's way too short for him, really, but I've got to get a run into him somewhere and get him started," said King.