Another fine day, at home this morning and down here in Yorkshire where Christmas in USA was disappointing, appearing not to stay the 2m 4f on tiring ground but he blew hard and I fear that the impact of the weather on his recent training may have been greater than I expected. Let’s hope that’s not the case for our four runners at Haydock tomorrow where the drying ground will again be tacky, soft with good to soft places only tells half the story.
We start with Eagle Ridge making his handicap debut in the 3.50, he’s a nice horse who should rate higher in future and whilst he will appreciate the step up in trip his opening mark looks stiff, Grant rides and 10 run.
Then we have two runners in the 4.20, Buffalo Ballet (Grant) and Top Cat Henry (Kit), the former has been going close recently, should appreciate the better ground if it isn’t too tacky, and has an attractive mark – he wears first time cheek pieces to aid concentration in the closing stages, let’s hope they work!
Top Cat has been rerouted from Wetherby today following their decision to bypass six of the fences, he’s meant to be a steeplechaser not a flat horse! We were very happy with his debut at Kelso over Christmas and you can ignore his last run in desperate ground at Carlisle, hopefully he will go much better tomorrow and finish 2nd to Buffalo! 9 run.
Finally Up Helly Aa King runs in the 4.55, he’s taking a big step up in trip on this handicap debut and going straight into open handicap company off what doesn’t look like a very attractive mark, again he should rate higher in time but has a stiff task against these much more experienced rivals – Grant’s on board and 8 run.