Update from Feb 18th, 2022
I hope you are all staying safe and well in this extreme weather! As promised, this week’s email brings with it the return of Stuart Redding’s tips as well as some updates on horses and events.
I have arranged a visit to see our Bungleinthejungle ex Genuine Charm filly at Tim Easterby’s yard (near Malton, Yorkshire) on Thursday 12th May at 10:15am. This is the first day of the fantastic York Dante Festival which we will be heading on to after the visit. Click here to sign up to attend this stable visit.
Tim is very pleased with the filly and said “she is a big nice filly, very scopey, a typical Bungle, a little bit fizzy, moves well, one thing you have to watch she can kick!” Tim should know about “typical Bungles” as he trains the best one – Winter Power who memorably won the Group 1 Nunthorpe last season – and it is great to hear that our filly has a bit of her attitude!
Olly Murphy stable visit and racing at Warwick
We are looking forward to our trip a week today to Olly Murphy’s followed by Warwick racecourse (Friday 25th February). We are meeting at Olly’s at 9am and then heading on to Warwick for a drink in the car park before racing from 11am. We will be covering the cost of entry to Warwick, and please do feel free to bring anyone along to the visit and racing afterwards if you think they would enjoy it! Information about the day will be sent next week to those who have signed up to attend – if you wish to join this visit and haven’t yet signed up, you can do so here until Monday night. Please also let us know any additional guests before Tuesday.
Other event sign up links
Tom Ward visit followed by racing at Newbury
Jockey Club Rooms drinks party
Next week, you can expect full details and sign up links for the Go North trip (25th-27th March) so you can get plans in place for the weekend. Now, over to Stuart!
“We may have spent Friday hiding from the storms but don’t leave your sofa too quickly because Saturday’s racing action looks set to be highly entertaining.
Ascot stage the main meeting, with ITV showing four races. The first at 1.50 is a competitive novice chase and I fancy DOYEN BREED to go well for northern trainer Sandy Thomson. He has produced three solid efforts since switching to the larger obstacles and only relentless galloper Threeunderthrufive proved too good at Warwick last time out. There is nothing with that rival’s ability in opposition here.
I can’t let REGAL ENCORE go unbacked in the big handicap chase. He is fourteen-years-old now but showed a fair chunk of his ability remains when third here in October. Things haven’t gone to plan twice since, but he has been given a wind operation during a subsequent break, has slipped down the weights and goes particularly well at this venue.
Paul Nicholls seems to be emerging from a troubled few weeks and I think he can confirm that impression with a win from CAP DU MATHAN in the £50,000 handicap hurdle. He spent two years on the sidelines after winning a maiden hurdle in January 2020 but looked better than ever when reappearing at Taunton last month, going off in front and finding when plenty when Harry Cobden asked him to seal victory. A 9lb rise is unlikely to be the limit of his ability.
Venetia Williams is having a tremendous season and she has a great chance of landing another big pot with FANION D’ESTRUVAL. He got back to winning ways in a handicap at Newbury in November and probably ran even better when narrowly denied here last month. He looked set to win when hitting the front with three to jump, but his big weight told and he was caught by Phoenix Way in the dying strides. He is going back up in grade but that race has proved a good trial for this, with Cyrname and Dashel Drasher both completing the double in recent years.
Wincanton has taken a real hit from Storm Eunice and the fixture is under serious threat. Goshen sets a clear standard in their feature Kingwell Hurdle but he can’t always be relied upon and even if the meeting goes ahead, I’m happy to leave this race alone.
Haydock also has to survive an inspection, with rain their main concern. THIRD WIND won’t mind barely-raceable conditions, as all five of his successes have come on soft or heavy ground. He hasn’t been quite at his best recently but arguably his career best came in this race twelve months ago and this test will suit better than the steadily-run Warwick handicap he contested in January.
Stamina will be at a premium in the Grand National Trial over 3m4½f but BLAKLION is one who could gallop all day. Big spending connections had to wait a long time to get a return on their investment but he is enjoying a revival this winter, with two Haydock wins in December. The teenager barely came out of second gear when scoring over this course and distance last time out and he still looks fairly treated despite going up 9lb.
1.50 Ascot: Doyen Breed £1 win
2.05 Haydock: Third Wind £1 win
2.25 Ascot: Regal Encore £1 each-way
2.40 Haydock: Blaklion £3 win
3.00 Ascot: Cap Du Mathan £1 win
3.20 Wincanton: No bet
3.38 Ascot: Fanion D’Estruval £2 win
Enjoy your weekend and I look forward to seeing some of you a week today for our first stable visit!