A busy week ahead with three horses having entries this week as we draw ever closer to the Cheltenham Festival
In the News
The final set of entries have come out for the Festival and we’ve had two in this last batch. Valadom is set to run in the Cross Country Chase. He should get in based on the ratings and he seems that bit stronger and more mature to see out the trip now. Tahira has been given an entry in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle to go with her Grade One Mares’ Hurdle entry. She will have to shoulder a penalty in the race after her victory in a Listed Novices’ race at Haydock in November and that could be tricky in such good company. That said, she has got listed form in the book and she deserves her place in which ever race she turns up.
Last week’s runners
Dame Rose was set to run at Warwick after a change of plans. It looked a weak enough race, but the ground deteriorated sufficiently that we didn’t want to chance it. Kim Bailey’s Diva Reconce ended up running off with the spoils in pretty good style.
This week’s runners
Busy week this week with three horses having a total of four entries. First up, Dame Rose has two entries, one at Newbury as suggested in last week’s newsletter and one up at Doncaster, the scene of her previous win. At the moment we’re leaning towards Newbury. There’s a few factors in this, chiefly amongst those probably the ground and the forecast. Although the ground is slightly softer at the moment, there’s less rain expected compared to Doncaster, so that will probably be a big part in the decision on where we end up.
Before Saturday though, Fulgus heads back to the racecourse for a novices’ hurdle at Ludlow. He gained some much needed experience around Bangor last time out and although he was well beaten into sixth, we feel he should come on for the run. It looks like this will be a weak enough race on the formbook, so perhaps he can run into the money. Conor O’Farrell rides him for the first time.
Our last entry this week is Chic Name, who will attempt three miles for the first time on Sunday at Huntingdon. He was outpaced over two miles in the Grade One Kingmaker last time out and we’ve lowered his sights to Class Four company here. Hopefully he’ll improve for the step up in trip and he can be right in the mix at the finish. There’s a few decent ones he’ll have to face up to, but it looks like there will be a bit of rain over the weekend which will suit Chico. Lizzie Kelly will take the ride, having been in a few times to ride out and they’ve got a good chance together
Caprice D’Anglais is set to run in France at Compiegne, just North of Paris in a race over two and a half mile chase. It’s pretty easy for us to get to and he carries a lot less weight than in England. He should have a good chance. Conor O’Farrell will be coming over to France with me, riding the re-arranged meeting at Auteuil on Sunday and then we’ll head to Compiegne on the Monday.
Finally, some of you may have noticed that both Chic Name (RSA) and Tahira (Supreme) were taken out of their races at Cheltenham at the scratch stage. Tahira has got entries in other races and we’ve decided to lower Chico’s sights rather than going for a tough race like the RSA.