Busy Weekend With Seven Runners

Alan_ProfileWe’re going to run Man Of Steel in the Conditions race at Larkhill tomorrow. It’ll be his first run of the season but his form was franked last week with Kristian Gray winning at Ampton. Our hourse was fourth in this race last year but we’ve got to know him better since and we’re excited about running him.

A few months ago we had visions of training him as a John Corbet horse but unfortunately he can’t run in that because he’s won a bumper. The ground tomorrow should be ideal for him so there are no excuses.

I suppose the Waley-Cohen’s Storm Lantern and Peeping Thom, who won there at the last meeting, will be the big dangers. He was one of the only horses to act in the ground last time, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can follow up on a better surface. I spoke to his trainer, Craig Pilgrim, in the week and he plans to qualify the horse for the Intermediate Final at Cheltenham later on in the season.

We have six runners at Higham on Sunday. Mr Cardle goes in the Maiden. The track might be a bit sharp for him but we were very pleased with his first run and he’s come on a lot for it. A first three finish again would be very pleasing.

There’s a very nicely worded Conditions race for Broken Eagle, who gets in without a penalty. He’s in tremendous form but he’s been beaten on his second run in his two previous seasons for us. He loved the course when winning there last year under Georgina though and we’re hopeful he can follow up from Cottenham.

Harbour Court goes in the Mens Open. Higham would certainly not be his ideal course but it’ll sharpen him up. If he can’t go quick enough around Higham, he isn’t going to keep up at Cheltenham. He has to win this and win it well if he’s going to compete at the Festival. Joe spoke to James Tudor last week at Black Forest and they both agree this is the right option for him.

Start Royal goes in the Ladies. He normally needs his first run back and hates heavy ground so to finish fourth in a competitive Ladies at Chaddesley Corbett was a good run. The Pub Team preview say “it’s a course he doesn’t really like” but he’s run there seven times and won four!

I can’t say he’s a good thing, but all I will say is that whatever beats him will have a hard race. He won this race two years ago and was third in it last year behind Bound For Glory and It Was Me, a rival he may have to face again on Sunday. Apparently he’s in the form of his life but he’s never won first time out so we’re happy to take him on.

start royal

Gina is revved up for it. She got off him at Chaddesley after he ran so courageously and said “Right, let’s get to Higham on some good ground and serve it up to them!” She’s riding out of her skin at the moment. Win, lose or draw, the first meeting at Kingston is very much the target after this.

Victoria has two rides. Minella Theatre runs in the Novice Riders. Better ground will suit him and hopefully he’ll run a good solid race and finish in the first six. Then she’ll ride According To Sarah in the Ladies. It’ll be the first time we’ve been able to run her on a shorter course on decent ground. Hopefully she can creep round and also complete.

It was brilliant for her to have two rides at Black Forest last weekend. We only bought Supreme Danehill on the Monday. We fetched him up to Woodway so she could bond with him throughout the week. Psychologically it’s an amazing thing when you come back into the pens and you weigh-in. You feel a jockey and suddenly, you feel part of the result.

There were massive positives and I think it’s silenced some of the doubters of this project. She’s buzzing. As you may have seen, it was officially announced on Monday that her intended mount for the Foxhunters will be Pacha Du Polder. She’s been down to school him and Paul Nicholls was very impressed with how she’s improved.

We need to get at least 12 more rides, hopefully including a hunter chase, into her for experience before Cheltenham. It would be lovely for her to have a winner and hopefully she’ll be able to achieve that at Milborne next weekend.