Hollie Doyle blog: Weekend chances and her hopes for the Grand National | Racing News

Hollie Doyle rides at Wolverhampton on Saturday with two great chances for Philip Kirby; she weighs in on her Grand National selection which is Christian Williams’ charge…

Palmer gelding sets high standard

It’s a relatively quiet time as we wait for the Flat season to get into top gear, but I’m off to Wolverhampton on Saturday for four rides – all of them with good chances.

With an official rating of 82, GREY CUBAN helps to set the standard in the Download The Racecourse App Raceday Ready Restricted Novice Stakes (6.10) over the extended mile.

Hugo Palmer’s grey has not run for a long time – he was third in a valuable sales race at York in October – but should be up to winning something like this. That said, this isn’t a walk in the park, and he’s entitled to sharpen up for the run.

Richard Spencer’s Toxic, who made a winning debut over slightly further at Wolverhampton last month, looks an obvious threat, along with Richard Hannon’s top-rated Local Hero and Ralph Beckett’s promising filly Malinka.

Extra furlong ideal for stars

I’m looking forward to riding my boss Archie Watson’s STARS ON FIRE for the first time in the Fred Smith’s 80th Birthday Celebrations Fillies’ Handicap (7.10) at Wolverhampton.

The daughter of Zoustar came to Archie from top US trainer Wesley Ward after winning two fast-ground sprints at Hawthorne.

She made her stable debut at Chelmsford last month but found it all happening a bit too quick, so the step up to 6f here should help. She’s down 4lb to a mark of 80, which also helps, and should run well from a good draw (stall 3).

Good chances for Kirby pair

Richmond trainer Philip Kirby has his horses running well, so it’s good to link up with him for two rides, starting with LADY BOUQUET in the Download The Racecourse App Raceday Ready Handicap (7.40).

I won on her over the same 5f off a reduced mark back in October and if she’s sharp enough following a winter break, she should go close in this grade despite her outside draw.

LORD TORRANAGA has what it takes to win the last, the Download The Raceday Ready App Handicap (8.10). Interestingly, I was the last jockey to win on him when I managed to get his head in front at Southwell two years ago, so I know him well.

He hasn’t been out of the first four in his last 10 starts, so he deserves to win another. He likes the track and should be in the shake-up if things fall his way.

Kitty's Light
Kitty’s Light is Hollie’s hope for the Grand National

National glory for Kitty’s would be dream come through

For me, the best outcome in Saturday’s Randox Grand National (4.00) would be an emotional victory for the Christian Williams-trained Kitty’s Light.

Christian and his family have been through so much with his youngest daughter Betsy’s ongoing cancer treatment, so to win this great race would give them all a massive lift.

He’s a serious trainer with a hard-working team and great owners behind him, and in Kitty’s Light he has a horse with the talent to succeed, with the eight-year-old having a Scottish Grand National and bet365 Gold Cup in his trophy cabinet already.

Another brilliant story would be victory for last year’s winner Corach Rambler. Winning back-to-back Nationals takes some doing, but after his gallant performance in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month, the excellent Lucinda Russell and Peter Scudamore have a worthy favourite.

Watch Hollie Doyle’s rides at Wolverhampton, live on Sky Sports Racing

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