We could have a Monopoly at Exeter and Wincanton!

It’s been another mildly frustrating week with two more seconds on Monday at Plumpton, but we were very happy with how the horses went.

Goodtimecrew just found the track a little bit too tight for her liking but stayed on well and pulled clear with the winner. We’ll find her a more galloping track for next time and, hopefully, she can go one better. Monjules made a really pleasing start to his campaign and was narrowly denied in the valuable handicap hurdle. We’ve got options for him, we could stick to hurdling or go chasing, but it’s certainly been a good start to his campaign.

Friday, Exeter

Ma Belle Noir is first up in the 2m5½f Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (13:10). She has won both of her last two starts, so seeks a hat-trick here. She’s slightly back in trip and the ground is possibly soft enough for her already but, as long as it doesn’t get any slower, I would like to think she be competitive here as she’s certainly been in the mood recently. I hope she can continue the form that she’s been in.

Making his handicap debut is Danton over 2m½f (14:20). Ideally, I’d have liked to send him over further but, what with being balloted out and having lost fixtures, the stiff nature of Exeter’s two miles and the slower ground should allow him to be competitive off his mark of only 95.

Ask Me Early is the final runner of the day in the three-mile Stayers’ Handicap Chase (16:00). He lost his way last season and, hopefully, we can put him back to somewhere near his best this term. The handicapper has given him a chance and our amateur jockey Megan Bevan takes the ride, giving him a valuable seven pounds. The slow ground won’t be any issue for him whatsoever so, if the real Ask Me Early turns up, he can be very competitive.

Saturday, Wincanton

We start on Saturday with Walk On High in the 1m7f novices’ hurdle (12:40). He hasn’t been seen since December last year but a flat track suits him and he’s always promised plenty at home, despite not really showing it on the track so far. You’d like to think that he can be there or thereabouts now that we’ve worked out that a flat track is ideal for him.

We had two horses entered in the G2 Rising Stars Novices’ Chase (13:50); Might I and Lady Adare. We’ve decided to wait for another novices’ chase at Exeter in about 10 days’ time for Might I, where hopefully he can get his head in front before stepping him up in grade. Lady Adare, having won on her chase debut, will go and take her chance here in this better novices’ chase. She has her valuable mares’ allowance, bearing in mind that she has plenty to find against the likes of the favourite, Knappers Hill. On the back of her chasing debut, though, we hope that she can, realistically, compete here for a place as Knappers Hill will take a lot of beating on the ratings, but you’ve got to be in it to win it! She should be able to run a good race regardless.

Great Snow is making her debut for us and Opulence Thoroughbreds, who bought her in the spring, in the 2m5½f mares’ handicap hurdle (15:32). She’s got form with a couple of the mares that she’s taking on here, and we’ve been learning about her all the time. She’s a fine, big, strong mare and, when they first asked me to train her, I had this race in mind. It’s not just because the race is run in memory of my old landlord and mentor, Richard Barber, so would be lovely to win; it’s also a lovely starting point for her over this trip and she’s gone well at this track before. I’d like to think she can give a very good account of herself as she’s in good form. We know that she stays as she won over three miles in February so – I’m repeating myself (!) – I’d like to think she can be competitive.

Lastly is Mr Monopoly in the race that we sponsor, the Join The Harry Fry Racing Syndicate Open bumper (16:10). He’s making his racecourse debut and he’s a nice horse who has pleased us with what he has shown at home. We’ve got to go and do it on the track now. There’s a maximum field of 18 so, if he finishes inside the first four, we’ll be delighted. He looks to have plenty of promise and is certainly something to work with in the future. Hopefully, he can make a good start to his career.

Have a good weekend,








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