Racecourse prepares for busy meeting

POPULAR Towcester trainer Robin Dickin will not be at his favourite course today (Thursday) after suffering a horrific fall on his home gallops last week.

But his yard could still saddle a winner.

Dickin, whose career as a jockey was ended in 1985 after fracturing his skull in a fall at Towcester, broke two vertebrae and a shoulder blade near his yard at Stratford-upon-Avon last Wednesday, and was rushed to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry.

The accident happened just a day after Dickin had seen Drom, a Towcester winner on the Sunday, quickly repeat the dose at Leicester with another authoritative display of jumping which suggested the ex-pointer is still ahead of the handicapper.

Dickin’s yard has made Towcester entries for Thursday, with Drom a possible competitor in the 2m gg.com Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase, where the veteran 13 year-old Kinkeel could once more be in opposition.

Kinkeel, trained by Tony Carroll for Group 1 Racing, was beaten into third place by his more youthful rival on January 22 but thrives on his racing and could be set for another massive run.

Kinkeel’s latest outing was his 100th in a chase, and his target is to overhaul the 104 set by Blazing Dawn.

Group 1 spokesman Stephen Foster said: “The intention is to run at Towcester on Thursday although we have also made an entry for Fontwell on Sunday. However, Towcester is our preferred date.”

He added: “Kinkeel is in decent form but has just met a decent horse on his most recent runs when he has been second at Huntingdon and Southwell and third at Towcester.

“He takes a while to warm up and get fit in a season but once he does, you can practically run him every week.”

Grantham trainer Chris Bealby is another man eyeing Towcester on Thursday with his six year-old Legendary Hop.

The Midnight Legend mare has been partnered in all four of her efforts under Rules by Tom Messenger and after an encouraging fifth at Towcester, chased home 1/5 winner Harry The Viking from the Paul Nicholls yard. She has since been a runner-up at Warwick on New Year’s Eve.

Ukrainian Star, who has scored on each of Towcester’s last two cards, looks set to attempt a hat-trick of victories in the 3m gg.com Tipzone Handicap Chase.