Week In Review
Metier – 8th at Kempton (February 8th)
We ended up running at Kempton, his first start on the All-Weather. The conditions of the race didn’t suit, he was wrong at the weights. On the face of it he has finished 8th of 8 which isn’t that inspiring, however he was only beaten just under 6 lengths by a horse rated 106 that we were only in receipt of 3lbs from. The race wasn’t run to suit either, but he’s got a run under his belt. It’s all about the weather with him, he needs plenty of cut in the ground. We’ll have a look at the National Spirit at Fontwell. He’ll also have entries at Cheltenham, possibly in the County Hurdle. We’ll just have to wait for the weather to turn in his favour. Surely at some point it’s got to rain again! We will however pursue every option in the hope of finding suitable ground conditions. He will get an entry in the Chester Cup, and we may even look at some possibilities in France.
How’s The Cricket – 2nd at Ffos Las (February 9th)
He’s run another solid race in first time cheekpieces. He’s probably bumped into a quite progressive young chaser in Heltenham from Dan Skelton’s yard. We pulled clear 15 lengths clear of the third, and run a season’s best, if not a career best. Fortunately the handicapper has only put us up 2lbs so hopefully we can find him another winning opportunity before the season is out.
Phoenix Way – 14:25 Ascot
He’s finished 4th on both his starts this season and has shown a liking for Ascot in the past. The unknown is the ground. He’s always run on slower conditions so we will just have to see what conditions are like when we get there on Saturday. We were hoping to run at Ascot in January, and he was also due to run there in December. However we lost both fixtures so hopefully it’s a case of third time lucky!
Revels Hill – 14:25 Ascot
We declared him over hurdles at Doncaster last weekend, so it’s really through circumstance that we find ourselves in this race. We wouldn’t normally expect to be running on good ground at Ascot in February. To be honest we hadn’t considered this race hence the reason why we were planning on giving him a run over hurdles, to put him spot on for either the Kim Muir or Midlands National next month. However when the ground dried up at Doncaster, we looked at the options and Revels had run well at Ascot when runner-up over slightly shorter back in November. So we thought we’d have a look, as we know he likes good ground. Hopefully he can be competitive with first time cheekpieces on. It will be interesting to see if they help. It’s a valuable pot, and we think he is worth his chance in the line-up.
Old Town Garde – 16:10 Ascot
He is making his debut for us where we’re reverting to the smaller obstacles. He’s been running over fences more recently, so we’re returning to hurdles to see how he gets on. He’s joined us from Gordon Elliott, so it remains to be seen how well handicapped he is as you wouldn’t expect to necessarily improve one coming out of Gordon’s. Saturday will be a bit of a sighter and we will see where we are with him.
Our Nel – 16:45 Ascot
She ran well on her stable debut for us when finishing 4th at Warwick back in November. She was one of the last horses off the bridle at Warwick, having probably done a little too much through the race. A first time hood will hopefully help her settle better, and provided she’s built on her first run I think she can be competitive again, assuming the ground is suitable.
One To Watch Next Week
Altobelli – Carlisle on Monday
He has an entry at Carlisle next week. He got off the mark at the first time of asking in a maiden at Ffos Las. He’s pleased us since that race, so we’re hopeful he can continue on an upward curve as we’d like to think he’ll be better for that experience. We will be looking to see him jump better with more confidence and taking another step forward if the ground is suitable.
All her form has been on soft and heavy ground. We were keen to run at Warwick last Saturday, however we didn’t want to jeopardise her well-being, so although it was a tough decision it was certainly the right one. We didn’t want to take any chances on ground that was an unknown for her this close to the Festival. She seems in good form with herself. She will have an away day, as we look forward to putting the finish touches to her at home for the big day.
Will Victory & Whitehotchillifili
Both will be leaving us early next week to start their new careers at stud. Will Victory, having won twice for us this season, is off to visit Cokoriko, and Whitehotchillifili, who has been a real flag bearer for Chasing Gold Racing Club, is off to visit Jeu St Eloi. She is a listed and four-time winner for us. It’s a new chapter in their careers and we wish them both well.
Have a great weekend.