Warm here in the south west coast of France where I find myself briefly after a long drive from Cartmel, home tomorrow and a busy weekend with four runners at Hexham tomorrow and two at Perth on Sunday, both should have good watered ground.
I will still be in transit so Catch will take charge at Hexham where we start with Bertie Milan in the 2.40, Will Kennedy rides and no less than 17 run; Bertie was really just meant to be point-to-pointing this season but fast ground has prevented him from running for the past two months and he seems so fresh and well that I couldn’t face just turning him out, he should go well but we could have done without such a big field. Then in the 3.50 we run Clan Chief, he has lost his way a bit and probably needs a break but the conditions of this race suit and I thought it was worth one more throw of the dice, 10 run and Brian Hughes rides.
Dutch Canyon then runs in the second division of the 2m 4f handicap chase at 4.45, he is somewhat in the same boat having run poorly last time at Perth and probably needing a break but this track should suit him better as should the ground, Grant rides and 9 run. To be honest I don’t think we’ve played it very cleverly with either of these horses, they’ve been in training for a long time but haven’t run that much as we wanted to avoid the bad ground in winter, they would have been better having a proper break. Finally we run Christmas in USA in the 5.55, Kit rides and 13 run, we are taking quite a radical step up in trip with him from 2m to 3m, would have preferred something in between but this race suits well in every other way so we thought it was worth a spin, he does seem fresh and well at home despite being in training a long time.
I’m pleased to say that the two mares running in the opener at Perth on Sunday did have a proper break in winter and they both seem in good form, Will Kennedy rides Final Reminder and Grant Cockburn rides Queen of Avalon, it’s a decent enough novice hurdle for the time of year and for these two young horses it will be about continuing to learn their trade.