We have gone south in search of answers tomorrow with both Waiting Patiently and Black Ivory needing to improve again to find their way into the winners spot. Waiting Patiently has been very progressive over fences and has some nice form to his name. He has to give weight away to proven Grade 1 horses tomorrow but that’s life and we will learn a bit more about him. He is back to his best (at home) following a head cold. Black Ivory won nicely at Aintree last time over 2m 4f and even on soft/heavy going you would hope he would stay 3 miles. He was getting a lot of weight from the second horse that day so the six pound rise was fair enough. He has a nice racing weight again tomorrow but this is a competitive affair and he will need to have improved again to win it.
Fencote Belle jumped ok for a novice but was again a bit keen early. Better ground may help but she really needs to learn to settle in her races.
Three runners tomorrow including a rare runner on the flat! Four Mile Beach heads to Newcastle with Rachel Richardson taking a handy there pounds off. We are stepping up in trip but he looks like he will stay and it is worth a try. Ecole d’Art makes his hurdling debut. He was not disgraced on the flat in France when trained by Andre Fabre and like many Nathaniel’s he has been slow maturing. Gelding him looks like it has helped and he thrived since coming into training. He schooling has gone well but he can be a touch careful at home and he will probably need the experience. Sun Cloud has had loads of experience and knows his way around Catterick. His most recent winning form has been over hurdles but if he transfers that back to fences tomorrow he should run a great race.
We could not have been happier with Mount Mews chase debut and it was particularly pleasing to see him go to the front so far from home and not get distracted! He jumped well in the main though he stood a long way of the ditch fifth or sixth out and just made it to the other side. He enjoyed himself and looks like he could be a nice chaser.
Just the one – Mount News – at Doncaster tomorrow if racing goes ahead. It will be his debut over fences and we have been pleased with his schooling at home. He will undoubtably come on for the experience but I hope it is a reasonably well ran race and not a tactical affair due to the small field.
One runner tomorrow with Robbing The Prey at Doncaster in the 2m novice handicap chase. A small but select field line up. He ran a nice race last time but it is fair to say the race fell apart and we did feel the 9lb rise was enough under the circumstances (he is rated 131 having only won the one race). However, he has grown up a lot mentally this year and is starting to settle better in his races which is helping him. He seems a nice jumper of a fence as well. Hopefully he will run a good race tomorrow.
Boxing Day was a little mixed. Schiaparannie ran a cracker and it was a step up from her first run. She should pick up another race this year. Special Catch ran a great race and was beaten by a horse carrying 24lb less then him. Rising 11 years of age he could do with a touch of leniency from the handicapper. Ryedale Racer ran a good race but is suited to stiffer tracks. Princess Tara pulled up but she does not look like she is enjoying chasing and will revert to hurdles. Chilly Miss will be better on better ground and will be freshened up for Spring. Sammamish is not a bumper horse and she will step up in trip over hurdles shortly. I was expecting a better run from Branston Doyen but Tony Kelly felt the hood we had applied settled her too well and that we should leave it off next time.
Cyrus Darius ran better yesterday then he did at Haydock and I can’t decide wether he wants further on wants ridden with more restraint. I do know, he will not be ridden handy over 2m 4f! He jumped better yesterday which was pleasing to see and he has come out of his race well.
Two runners tomorrow with both making a debut of some kind. Shepherd’s Bight makes his stable fabulous in the novice hurdle. He has two previous runs over hurdles finishing a good third in one before pulling up next time. He has not encountered ground this testing before but we will learn wether he handles it! Hopefully he will run a good race. Boy Named Sioux makes his belated bumper debut. A slow maturing horse he is ready for a day out and he will come on for the experience.
Tayzar ran a nice race last week and has now being put away until spring. He will be a nice horse when he learns to settle. Helmsley Lad ran a nice race until push came to shove and he will be wearing blinkers next time. Kick On Dottie did not seem to try at all but she may not have taken to the track and she may have been upset by the pre-race blood test. She will get one more chance. Thankfully the day was saved by Return Ticket who won the bumper at Catterick in nice style. He will now have a break until spring.
Three runners tomorrow. Black Ivory runs in the handicap hurdle (2m 4f) at Aintree. He ran well there last time and the soft/heavy ground conditions should negate the drop back in trip. Cloudy Dream steps up in trip in what could be a muddling affair. In good form and we hope to learn whether he stays the trip. Special Catch ran below par last time and we hope to see his old spark tomorrow. It’s a competitive race but we hope he runs well and Jamies three pound allowance could help.
Nautical Twilight ran well for a long way before tiring but it was nice to see her run and travel enthusiastically. Aiden gave her a nice ride and we have been impressed by his riding so far.
Two runners at Wetherby tomorrow. Secrete Stream ran a really nice race at Carlisle on his chasing debut and should appreciate the step up in trip tomorrow. It is a trappy sort of race but he is in great form and has schooled well since Carlisle so we are hopeful of a big run. Sammamish is a compact, well made filly from a family we know well. She may not be the quickest but she is very tough. She may, like many of ours, need the experience tomorrow and one day she will need a trip, but 2m on soft ground on a galloping track is an ideal starting place.
We were delighted Robbing The Prey won today as he deserved to win a race. He is a lovely jumper of fences for a novice which helps and he is learning to settle better having matured mentally for a break. He likes a bit of time between races so we will look for something between Christmas and New Year. Kick On Dottie has improved for her first run over hurdles and she will come on again for her run today. She would have finished closer if she had not needed to take evasive action around the faller and is a horse who will improve for racing.
Just the one runner tomorrow with Cyrus Darius in a competitive Graduation Chase. Staying at an intermediate trip, this is a tougher race then last time. He has come on for the run and has schooled well since Ayr so we hope he takes another step forward tomorrow.
Hello Bertie ran a little disappointing and we may have to have a good look at his wind as he has made a noise in his last two races. He traveled well and his jumping was fine but when push comes to shove he doesn’t pick up like we expect him to. Return Ticket is a lovely big horse and we were pleased with his debut. He will appreciate a trip in time and this will have been on the sharp side but he enjoyed himself and will know more next time.
Two runners tomorrow at Catterick. Hello Bertie drops back in trip after looking like a non stayer at 2m 3f last time out. He seems well and has freshened up for a break. The better ground may suit and we hope he goes close. Return Ticket is a lovely big horse who should handle the track as he is well balanced. Hopefully he will be thereabouts.
Tayzar ran a cracker to finish second today and it was a much improved effort and pleasing to see. He could still settle better but he jumped nicely and ran through the line. Northern Soul made a pleasing debut as he was very green when the race started to develop before staying on well down the straight as the penny started to drop. He travelled well through his race and has enjoyed his run which is very important.
Two runners at Market Rasen tomorrow with Tayzar making his hurdling debut. A keen going sort we hope the jumps will give him a focus and he will settle better which could help him get home. Northern Soul is a lovely horse from a good family. He does things a little too easily at home and may be a little green under pressure but despite this he should run a nice race.
Chilly Miss ran a cracker under a good ride from Aiden Blakemore and may have another run before a winter break if we can get good ground somewhere! She is very consistent and deserves another win to her name.