Week In Review
Will Victory – 5th at Catterick on Wednesday
She has been doing her winning in mares’ company and we were back in against the boys. We will drop her back in to mares’ company next and see how we get on, but she’s won two this season already, so we can’t complain too much and has gone up 13lbs as a result. It was just a combination of more weight and running against the boys.
Whitehotchillifili – 2nd at Ffos Las on Monday
Ben gave her a lovely ride all the way around and it looked like we had the race there to be won going to the last, but she didn’t jump it fluently and opened the door, and the winner took full advantage. It was very frustrating, but she’s run well. This is her final campaign before she goes off to stud and it’s frustrating because that looked like her winning opportunity. But she loved the testing conditions around there, and we will be trying to find her something similar in February before the ground dries out.
Boothill – 13:35 Doncaster
He’s had a fine campaign to date. We have a penalty for winning the Wayward Lad so that puts us at a slight disadvantage as he is the only one in the race with a penalty, but as the only Grade 2 winning chaser he’s earnt it. We were thrilled with him on softer ground than he really likes, the good ground should be no problem at all, and we are hopeful he can carry on in the same sort of vein he has been in this season, albeit he is giving weight to the field. We are 10lbs wrong with Tommy’s Oscar at the weights – he was a particularly good hurdler, he’s a good horse, and we have to give him full respect, but we’ve got more experience than him over the bigger fences so hopefully that will play to our advantage. But we are very happy with Boothill and hope he is the one to beat with a bit of luck. He has an entry in the Arkle, but this race will help determine where we go for the rest of the campaign.
Phoenix Way – 13:50 Cheltenham
He was due to run at Ascot in the race he won last year, but because we have missed our intended target last weekend, we have ended up in this race. He’s never actually run at Cheltenham, but I don’t see that being a problem whatsoever, 2 ½ miles is probably a bit on the short side, but I’d rather run him over that than stretch him over 3 miles, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on. We were pleased with his return at Chepstow and hopefully he will have come forward from that, and it will be nice if he can be competitive in what is sure to be another hotly run Cheltenham handicap chase. It wasn’t our intended target, but he will take his chance and hopefully if he can run into a place, we’d be happy.
Fortunes Melody – 13:57 Uttoxeter
She had an option over hurdles on the same card, but we have chosen the Mares’ Chase, and she is better known as a chaser. She’s won over hurdles and fences this season which is the reason we gave her both options. She’s been coming back down to her last winning mark and Ben Bromley will be back on board which will help. She’s consistent and can run her usual solid race, albeit she’s vulnerable to a more unexposed type.
Might I – 16:10 Cheltenham
Again, we were all set to go to Lingfield with him (and Metier) and it’s hugely frustrating and disappointing for everyone, not just ourselves, but for owners too. We are running here at one of our Premier tracks for quite literally a third of the prize money that we were due to compete for last weekend at Lingfield. It’s frustrating that our hand has been forced. We could have waited for the Betfair in another fortnight, but we are hoping to take him back to Cheltenham for one of the handicaps at the Festival, and he is a horse that does appreciate a bit of time between races so waiting another two weeks would mean just having 4 weeks then until the Festival, so we are running this weekend instead. That’s why Lingfield suited so well. Choosing to run this weekend does at least still give us 6 weeks until the Festival. It’s obviously a drop in trip from his run at Haydock over 3 miles, but I said last week in the Blog, he didn’t give himself any chance really, as he ran too free and didn’t jump well. So first and foremost, on Saturday we want to see him settle better and jump better, and hopefully he has it in him to be competitive off this mark, and he can get a good first experience of the track and can use it as a stepping stone to one those handicaps in March.
NEXT WEEK – ONE TO WATCH
Great Name That – Wednesday, 15:55 Exeter
He has an entry in the maiden hurdle next week. He ran a race full of promise on his first start over hurdles at Ffos Las, so we are hoping he can build on that performance midweek.
Have a great weekend.