Alan Bailey appears to be getting more of a handle on Vivat Rex now and he can strike gold at the fourth attempt in the Download The Coral App Handicap at Wolverhampton.
The four-year-old hails from the family of Classic winners Generous and Imagine but after landing a 12-furlong maiden for Aidan O’Brien last September, he subsequently finished last in a Listed heat and was shipped off to the autumn sales.
Bailey snapped up the son of Fastnet Rock for 17,000 guineas and promptly turned him out in Listed company at Kempton, where he failed to make any impact at all behind Grendisar.
Dropped back to handicaps, Vivat Rex turned in another lacklustre effort over 12 furlongs forcing Bailey to go back to the drawing board and down in trip for his most recent engagement.
The extended nine furlongs certainly seemed much more up Vivat Rex’s street as he set out to make all in a first-time visor and only surrendered his lead inside the final furlong, eventually having to settle for third, a length and three-quarters in arrears.
Vivat Rex looked much happier with his lot that day and now on a mark of 81 he appears to be in a useful position with improvement more than likely to come.
At the other end of the scale, Monsieur Chevalier has few secrets any more but remains in excellent heart ahead of the Bet In Play At Coral Claiming Stakes.
Winner of the Molecomb in his juvenile days, the now eight-year-old has been around the block a few times but seems to have rekindled his enthusiasm since joining Jamie Osborne late last year.
A winner first time out for the Lambourn handler at this track, Monsieur Chevalier then followed up with another victory at Kempton before coming unstuck on the Fibresand at Southwell.
He came up slightly short on the surface, finishing third at the start of the month when appearing to have plenty in his favour.
However, a return to Tapeta should be to his liking and he is not one to desert yet.
Catterick: 1.10 Whichwaytobougie, 1.40 Frederic, 2.10 Moonlight Maggie, 2.45 Definitly Red, 3.20 Argent Knight, 3.55 Russborough, 4.25 Copt Hill.
Chepstow: 1.20 Becauseshesaidso, 1.50 Sail By The Sea, 2.20 Mackerye End, 2.55 Come On Annie, 3.30 Hughesie, 4.05 Take The Mick, 4.35 Lawless Island.
Double: Vivat Rex & Monsieur Chevalier.
Lingfield: 1.00 New Leyf, 1.30 Tactical Strike, 2.00 Singular Quest, 2.35 Waterloo Dock, 3.10 Offshore, 3.45 Vejovis, 4.15 Automotive.
Wolverhampton: 4.45 Sarlat, 5.15 Monsieur Chevalier, 5.45 VIVAT REX (NAP), 6.15 Light Wave, 6.45 Tango Sky, 7.15 Arctic Lynx.