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Bonfire all set to rise from ashes

BONFIRE should be given one last chance to redeem his reputation in the Stella Artois Huxley Stakes at Chester tomorrow.

Andrew Balding's charge is starting to slip dangerously close to being labelled disappointing after failing to build on his Dante success of 2012.

There was little shame in finishing sixth in the Derby when both the Epsom track and the mile-and-a-half trip did not seem to play to any of Bonfire's strengths.

The Eclipse then looked a natural step for the Manduro colt but he took a keen hold before fading into a distant sixth, although he reportedly finished lame.

Connections then took the bold step of ending his campaign prematurely to geld him and give him plenty of time to really find his feet.

Bonfire duly returned at Newmarket last month and there was much to like about his close-up third in Group Three company, particularly as Balding made no secret of the fact he would need the run.

That outing and the recent warmer spell of weather should have done the trick for Bonfire and he should go well stepped back up in trip.

Aidan O'Brien has his usual wealth of Classic talent to pick from, but Ruler Of The World can put himself right in the Derby picture by winning the MBNA Chester Vase.

The Ballydoyle trainer has saddled three winners of the race in the last 10 years and while none have gone on to Epsom glory, both Soldier Of Fortune and Treasure Beach won the Irish Derby.

Ruler Of The World is bred in the purple as a Galileo half-brother to Duke Of Marmalade and made a fine impression when winning on his racecourse bow.

He missed a juvenile campaign and while he was only a three-quarter-length winner at the Curragh last month, he knuckled down well and will surely be much wiser this time.

Enobled only had one run last term but he can start to make up for lost time in the Goodwood Business Club Maiden Stakes.

A son of multiple Group One winner Peeress, Enobled was beaten just half a length on his racecourse bow over a mile on the Kempton all weather.

Sidney Melbourne was a winner at Wincanton last month and can follow up in the £32 Bonus At 32Red.com Novices' Hurdle back at that track.

Foxcub is the choice in the Talk To Victor Handicap Hurdle at Southwell, while Big Casino can strike in the SIS Serving International Bookmakers "National Hunt" Maiden Hurdle at Newton Abbot.


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