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Xalted kicks off winter campaign

We saddle up just three runners over the next few days but we are hoping for a successful weekend with each horse looking to be a nice chance.

First up for Ballymore on Saturday is Donna Marie who takes her place in the second event at Ellerslie, the Stella Artois Mile.

A brave fourth when resuming over 1400m at Avondale on Anzac Day, the daughter of Don Eduardo has pleased us with her progress since and we are hoping that she is ready to break her maiden.

"She does look close to a win," Chad Ormsby said, adding that "she has been going very well and she has the services of a in-form senior jockey."

Due to jump from barrier five with Noel Harris aboard, Donna Marie looks well placed with the only question mark being her capabilities on very wet ground although she has run a couple of handy races on slow tracks.

Our second Ellerslie runner is Xalted who is having his first run since mid-February.

Due to line up in the Buffalo Advertising & Design Mile, the tough Pentire gelding pleased us with a recent hurdle trial victory and he is forward for his first up run.

"We think he is ready to run a bold race first up," Ormsny said, adding that "his fresh record is pretty good.

Runner up at his last two first up outings, Xalted is an exciting jumps prospect and we look forward to seeing how he measures up over the winter months.

The Hotz - who races in the Dow Agrosciences Maiden at Hastings on Monday, is another good prospect.

Stepping up to 2100m after good recent runs over a mile, the Pentire gelding looks nicely placed from barrier four for Rory Hutchings.

"He has shown us in his track work that he handles the wet tracks very well," Ormsby said, "and his form suggests that he is close to a win."

"Providing everything goes well in running he should prove hard to beat."

[24 May 13]

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