Perfect Portrait keen to avoid photo finish

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Racing starts at 6.30 pm, with four runners going in the Pentagon Builders handicap hurdle.

Ian Shenkin’s Tevere is giving almost two-and-a-half stone to his three rivals.

Trained by Vikki Lucas, currently head of the trainers’ winners table with six victories, this French-bred gelding may well start favourite having won a hurdle race on Easter Monday and a flat race on 3 June.

However, the Alyson Malzard-trained Koka Fast is likely to ensure a competitive race having won a conditional novice hurdle recently and having been second to the useful Groomsman in April.

Race two is the Coutts Offshore Europe one-and-a-half miler and again a Lucas-trained and Shenkin-owned horse heads the weights.

The enigmatic Persian Majesty is their representative on this occasion; while possessing much ability it is vital the mood swing is in the right direction – perhaps he may be more suited to evening racing! The other principal contenders including stable companion Groomsman who has not run a bad race since arriving in Jersey and Khuzdar, a prolific sinner in 2005.

Although a winner on 3 June Groomsman did not win emphatically and he will have to run better here to beat the rest of the field.

Robinazal from Joan Le Brocq’s yard is worthy of a place, and the UK entrant Flashing Floozie at the bottom of the handicap should not be overlooked if she adapts to the Jersey track as well as she did to the Guernsey track where she won on 7 May.

Eight horses are involved in the feature sprint race sponsored by UBS.

This is a manageable number for a sprint race start and it is hoped the problems encountered at the last meeting will not reoccur.

It should be a very competitive race, with Perfect Portrait attempting to recapture some of his form of previous years.

Having dropped a few pounds in the handicap he should be able to concede weight to speed specialists such as Highland Flight and Compton Spark.

But the form of a similar race on August Bank Holiday last year should be taken into account when Top Pursuit and Madrasse finished first and second respectively.

They are involved here again tomorrow with Top Pursuit appearing on the back of an eight-and-a-half-furlong race win on 3 June.

Race four, the extended mile handicap sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada (CI) Limited, features the maximum number of runners allowed on the Jersey track.

Fourteen take part and it will be something of a cavalry charge to the first bend.

With such a large field – by Jersey standards – punters are advised to narrow their choice to five, these being Secret Assassin, Danehill Dazzler, Wall Street Runner, Silver Silence and Kristinor.

Joan Le Brocq’s Secret Assassin and John Poynton’s and B Morton’s Danehill Dazzler are at the top of the handicap and are both winners in the UK.

Similarly, they have only run once in Jersey, but if they were to reproduce their best UK form they would have every chance of a success.

Lavender Racing Club’s Wall Street Runner often produces an unexpected win and must be considered.

The two at the bottom of the handicap Silver Silence and Kristinor are attractive propositions and should be supported to beat the top weights.

Both are winners this year, albeit in Guernsey, and both ran well last time finishing second and third to Top Pursuit.

It is hoped the last race will be run as the sun sets so racegoers will be treated to Jersey’s north west corner at its best.

It is again a well supported race with ten runners.

Joan Le Brocq is well represented, with Carr Hall and Didoe.

The former ran well enough last time to be in with a chance, and the latter’s UK form is good enough to win in this company.

The one with the speed to win is Johnny Mercier’s and Jane Edgar’s Cronkyvoddy.

Providing he does not use up too much energy early on he is probably the one they all have to beat.

Rachel Powell’s Oh Sunny Boy won a similar race on 22 April and put up a sound performance more recently.

The partnership-owned and Stephen Arthur-trained ReturnoftheFairy usually wins one race a year and this distance is arguably her best, and she also has the benefit of being bottom of the handicap.

From the same yard, the connections of Last Eclipse and Sea Lark will be hoping for a place.

Supporters of the Durrell Wildlife Preservation Trust have been responsible for arranging sponsors for all five of tomorrow’s races.

The trust will be raising awareness while entertaining their supporters at Les Landes and the evening will include much needed fundraising.

Given the right weather conditions, Les Landes is not a place to be missed on Friday evening.

l The development of the new stand and accompanying facilities is progressing with the summer weather giving drier conditions in which to work (up to yesterday at least).

However, staging race meetings while building work is in process presents something of a headache to the clerk of the course Mark Evans.

This is his first year with full responsibility of the racecourse, and he is under a great deal of pressure.

He is to be applauded for his sterling efforts to ensure racing takes place on a sound racing surface, with safe facilities for the public.

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