Quiet sort of weather, due to turn colder, may see some snow this weekend. A much better effort from McGinty’s Dream at Hexham today, just denied in the shadow of the post with the first two a long way clear, so close, great to see him back to form. Early start for the team as we move on to Newcastle tomorrow where the ground is soft with good to soft places and we have six runners in what are generally busy and competitive looking races.
First up will be Moore’s Novelty for Sarah Irwin in the 12.40, 11 run and Lucy rides; he put up a very lacklustre display on his seasonal reappearance at Musselburgh and I am hoping we see a different horse tomorrow because he has plenty of ability, this track should suit him better.
Then Manetti runs for Sandy’s Angels (don’t ask!) in the 1.15, a select field of 6 line up as is reflected by him being the outsider despite making such a promising debut for the yard at Ayr, rather a poor bit of placing by the Trainer one might say but time will tell, Lucy rides.
We sit out the 1.45 (lunch anyone?) prior to running Christmas in USA for the Bowens and Nicols in the 2.20, 9 run and Lucy rides; this race has been the plan for a few weeks and he should have progressed from his seasonal debut – track, trip, ground all fine so will need a decent excuse if he runs poorly! (well, he’s actually 13kg heavier than his best run last season so there we go….).
We have two runners in the handicap chase at 2.55 both of whom have a bit to prove at this stage, Fly Rory Fly for Turcan, Dunning, Douglas Miller Stewart and Burnham(Lucy) and The Orange Rogue for Sarah Irwin (Grant), 9 run.
The Rogue is likely to improve for the run and needs softer ground, Rory is very fit and well but could do with better ground to show his best, like to think he will run better than he did in the spring.
Finally My Son John makes his racecourse debut for Jock Threadgall in the bumper at 3.25, he’s only done a couple of faster bits of work on the grass but has a taking attitude and will hopefully overcome inevitable greenness to show his ability, 14 run and Lucy rides. We will head on down to Cheltenham after Newcastle where we will be attending what looks like a very interesting sale as well as the races, do contact me if you would like a horse! Sadly the dry week has prevented us taking our recent Ayr winner Road to Gold down with us, he will hopefully appear somewhere over Christmas.
Dull and cold here today, happy to settle for that at this time of year. One runner at Hexham tomorrow where it is soft with heavy places, McGinty’s Dream in the 1.50, Grant rides and 6 run; he’s shown little in his two starts so far this season but should be far more at home in a small field on soft ground, he’s 16lb better off with the favourite having only been beaten 5l by him over course and distance back in May so a revival of his form would see him go very close, we are taking his blinkers off and ear plugs out so hopefully he will wake up a bit but not too much!
A mixed sort of weekend with some disappointments and some highlights; Benny’s Secret was the first of the former at Wetherby on Saturday, running a very flat race despite jumping well enough on his chasing debut, the reason quickly came to light afterwards – he’s very hard to catch right but we will continue to do our best. Marlee Massie ran well enough after such a long lay-off, as I said before he is lazy at home and there should be plenty of improvement for this run, he’ll be out again at the turn of the year.
Sunday at Kelso started with a bad blunder from Ballynanty unshipping Lucy at the second hurdle, he then gave himself a loose schooling session round the rest of the race so clearly doesn’t dislike jumping. Jet Master then proved a highlight by running an exceptionally game race to finish runner up in the valuable Veterans Chase, he’s such a star, then Off the Hook was just denied in the Mares Hurdle.
Her chances were not helped at all by 4 of the 11 hurdles being omitted due to low sun, I, along with many others, continue to be frustrated by the arbitrary and apparently illogical basis upon which this is decided. Silk or Scarlet’s race was also messed up for the same reason but I still expected him to have run better, he was possibly found to be short of fitness as it’s the only explanation I can come up with from my Book of Excuses (every trainer has one….).
Windy today, cold, showers about. A busy weekend with two runners on their way to Wetherby for tomorrow’s fixture and four declared at Kelso on Sunday. Ground at Wetherby is soft and we start off with Benny’s Secret in the 12.40. He has top weight for his chasing debut but should go well if he takes to the bigger obstacles and handles the ground and overnight trip.
His schooling has been good and he will have come on from his run a month ago, 8 run and Lucy rides. Then Marlee Massie makes his long awaited reappearance having strained a ligament in the Highland National at Perth in April 2017, he saves a lot for himself so it is hard to know how fit he is but home safe will be the main objective tomorrow after so long off, 9 run and Lucy rides.
Ground at Kelso is good to soft with soft places, that should be fine for our four runners on what looks like a particularly competitive card with lots of interesting races. Ballynanty is our first runner in the 1.35, I was pleased with his recent handicap debut but feel he needs to come down a little further from a high opening mark, the stiffer track will help, 12 run and Lucy rides.
Jet Master runs in the valuable Veterans Chase at 2.10, 9 run, he won well last time but this is much more competitive and he’s at the other end of the weights now, that will do no harm and ground, course and distance all fine, a low sun and bypassed fences would do no harm, Lucy rides.
Off the Hook then runs in a tough looking mares race at 2.40, Lucy rides and 11 run, she should be fine with another step up in trip and will have come on for her seasonal debut but a career best required to be involved.
Finally we run Silk or Scarlet in the 3.15, another competitive race, he should progress further this season having finished in the runner up slot at Perth in the spring, this is a big ask though for his first run back, 14 run and Lucy rides.