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Richard Hannon saddles Fancy Man in the Feilden on Tuesday | Tattersalls

While the British flat turf season officially kicked off at Doncaster at the end of last month, the real beginning takes place on Tuesday as Newmarket open their three-day Craven meeting. Any self-respecting fan of racing will feel that familiar warmth at the prospect of the fixture that hosts the Nell Gwyn, the European Free, the Earl of Sefton and of course the Craven itself. Tuesday's card has two longstanding race titles in the Alex Scott Maiden S. which gets the action underway and the Listed Feilden S. which pitches the year's Derby hopes against one another for the first time on English soil. The sharp and early juveniles get their chance in the British EBF Novice S., while the seven-furlong British EBF Conditions S. which follows may have a 2000 Guineas prospect in its midst.

Two that are entered in the May 1 Classic are Ballydoyle's Duke of Mantua (Ire) (No Nay Never) and Godolphin's Noble Dynasty (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), with the former coming here off a fourth as the topweight in The Curragh's Madrid H. Mar. 21 which has already produced the G3 1000 Guineas Trial winner Keeper of Time (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) and conditions scorer Erzindjan (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}).

In the Feilden, Michael Pescod's Fancy Man (Ire) (Pride of Dubai {Aus}) has to concede three pounds to all having won the Listed Ascendant S. at Haydock in September and he hails from the Hannon establishment which has done so well at this meeting down the years under Senior and Junior.

“He's been working very well,” the current incumbent of East Everleigh said. “I'm a little bit worried if the ground gets too quick as he's a big horse, that's all, but he needs a run and he had a good year last year. This is nine furlongs rather than a mile, but I think he'll get this sort of trip no problem.”

With Aidan O'Brien housing so many potential Derby contenders he has decided to cross the waters with the seven-furlong Curragh maiden winner Arturo Toscanini (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), while Charlie Appleby saddles the Polytrack-winning duo Highland Avenue (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Secret Protector (War Front). The latter has also captured the 9 1/2-furlong Meydan Trophy Feb. 11, while an intriguing renewal also features Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum's mile course maiden winner Royal Champion (Ire) (Shamardal) from the Roger Varian stable and Ahmad Al Shaikh's Youth Spirit (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) who was last seen finishing third to Battleground (War Front) in the G2 Vintage S. at Goodwood in July.

“He's a lovely horse and I'm really looking forward to getting him going,” trainer Andrew Balding said. “Obviously he'll come on a bit for the run, but he's in good shape for his first run of the season. He did have a niggle after Goodwood and we ran out of time, so we decided to leave him for the year.”

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