Sun hopes to keep shining at Newbury

Megan Nicholls (left of picture) was the Silk Series trophy winner last year / Picture by Dan

Silk Series is coming to Goodwood racecourse

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Sunley Peace will this afternoon bid for back-to-back wins after an encouraging start to his hurdling career.

The seven-year-old, who is trained by West Sussex’s Gary Moore, is a contender in the Floor V Davis HL1979 Handicap Hurdle at Newbury (5.35pm).

The contest – over an extended two miles – is the final race on the card, which makes up the first day of a double-header at the Berkshire course.

It’s a season-ending fixture for Newbury, however, life over fences has only just begun for Sunley Peace.

Having reached an impressive mark of 96 for David Elsworth on the flat, the Lomitas gelding retired from that sphere in 2007.

But following a switch to Moore’s Lower Beeding yard, the chestnut has been sent jumping.

A disappointing debut at Newbury was followed up by a second place to Nicky Henderson’s Gibb River at Wincanton.

And a return to the Somerset course saw him beat Mawsem by six lengths in a maiden hurdle.

He now tackles a handicap hurdle for the first time off a mark of 120.

Andrew Glassonbury will be in the plate and the partnership cannot be discounted, despite a string of more experienced rivals in the line-up.

Sunley Peace will face Cockney Trucker, with the 134-rated Philip Hobbs runner carrying top weight.

The line-up also includes Lucy Wadham’s General Ting, who will be ridden by Pulborough-based jockey Leighton Aspell, Tony McCoy’s mount Featherbed Lane and Screaming Brave, who hails from the Lewes yard of Sheena West.

Moore yesterday withdrew Mossini – his other entry on the card – from the Racing UK For Your Pub Call 0870 351 8834 Handicap Hurdle.

However, he has the return of Fruity O’Rooney to look forward to tomorrow.

Findon-based handler Nick Gifford was set to go mob-handed to Newbury today.

Yet he has decided against running trio Oscar Papa, General Kutuzov and Neil Harvey.

Elsewhere, Denmead trainer Michael Madgwick will saddle Fontwell winner Where’s Susie in the Barry Gurr Memorial Handicap at Lingfield (4.45pm) as she bids to improve her mark of 74.