Another exciting week ahead, with a big race entry for ‘Chico’ coming up at Warwick on Super Saturday.
In the News
The biggest news this week was probably the withdrawals of Min & Faugheen for the festival. Willie Mullins has been pretty unlucky with his stars this season, but fortunately for him, he’s got plenty of firepower left in the yard. Injuries are part and parcel of the game at any level and we’ve had our own problems in that regard. Allysson Monterg, who was sent off joint favourite for Listed handicap hurdle at the Cheltenham Open meeting has suffered a further tendon injury, which is a real shame. It’s hard to say at this point if he’ll make it back to the track, we’ll have to see how it goes. Equally, we won’t see Ceporine again this season due to injury.
Last week’s runners
Fulgus’ day out at Lingfield was cancelled due to a waterlogged track, so Caprice D’anglais was our only runner last week. He made the pretty long journey up to Catterick for a Novices’ Handicap Chase, but unfortunately, it was a fruitless one. He started off well this time, showing no signs of his temperamental behaviour at Leicester last time out and swiftly set off in front. He was taken on a bit in the early stages, but some excellent jumps saw him eke out a lead down the home straight. He was taken on again down the back and he’s not really one for a battle for the lead. That, combined with plenty of weight and ground that was probably too tacky for his liking, saw him falling behind the leaders. He managed to plug on for fifth, but alas no prize money that far down. We’ll look for a spring campaign in France for him now.
This week’s runners
The big race entry this week is Chic Name, who goes to Warwick for the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase. We’ve spoken about stepping him up to three miles before, but with soft/heavy ground likely to feature at Warwick, we feel he could outrun his odds in this two mile race. He’s a good jumper and that run of five quick fences down the back straight will be right up his street. He’s won at the track as a juvenile over hurdles and while that’s not quite the same, we’re happy to try and drop him back in trip for this one. It’s obviously a hot race (You’d expect that in a Grade Two), but off bottom weight, he could spring a surprise.
Fulgus will try to go again at Bangor on Friday in a Novices’ Hurdle. There’s some nice types entered up over there, so it’ll be a tough race. Getting around unscathed and getting some experience into him will be the main aim here. He’s been perhaps a bit unlucky with having had a cough for so long between his bumper runs and then unseating early doors on hurdles debut, but he’s still very inexperienced and a clean round of jumping would be a great start.
Finally, some of you may have noticed that Tahira has been given an entry in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the festival. It’ll be one of a number of options for her in March, with already having an entry in the Mares’ hurdle and she’ll be given an entry in the Mares’ novices too. The Supreme remains a pretty open race however and she won a listed race at Haydock. The second that day, Capitaine, went on to win a Grade Two and finish second in a Grade One so she’s got the form in the book.