Thursday 6.30pm Plenty to chew over today with Moon Racer being touted for the Champion Hurdle! Makes some sense as he’s an 8yo but I couldn’t even fancy him for the Supreme! Today’s night time reading is:- a bit of twitter news, “Twisters” Cheltenham team, whispers and nuggets from Cheltenham Weights launch Wednesday 1 March 2017, some handicappers to consider and of course the eagerly awaited Lucky 15!
Friday Lucky 15
Doncaster 2.50 TIQUER 4/1 PP 7/2 general
Newbury 3.50 BEHIND THE WIRE 5/2 Coral 9/4 general
Newbury 4.20 HADFIELD 12/1 Ladbrokes 10/1 general Amazing!
Newbury 4.55 BALLY GILBERT 10/1 PP 8/1 general
and here’s why
Doncaster 2.50 TIQUER Racing at Newbury tomorrow but Noel Fehily at Town Moor for ride on a horse sent from Somerset? Trip, grade, ground all look fine and when Tiquer won two runs back beat the likes of Mercian Prince and Wolf Sword. Favourite only ran eight days ago, up in grade on quicker ground! Tiquer looks a bet to me!
Newbury 3.50 BEHIND THE WIRE Wouldn’t/couldn’t go past Fort Worth last time at Doncaster and this drop of two furlongs should be ideal. Getting to grips with chasing, the trip, ground and grade are all fine and looks another for Tom George and his old ally Paddy Brennan.
Newbury 4.20 HADFIELD Neil Mulholland had high hopes for Hadfield at the beginning of the season when he was purchased in the Bloomfields/Godolphin sale. Taken time to adjust but the drop in grade over the 2m4f trip on a galloping track should help. Interesting that Mulholland once again uses 7lb claimer Harry Reed who rode Sleep Easy to success on Tuesday looking tidy in the process. Is the move permanent?
Newbury 4.55 BALLY GILBERT Looks like the time to catch this fellow, on handicap debut off OR120 in a C4 0-120 3m handicap hurdle! Placed in two Irish 4yo’s PtP’s, second in his only bumper when he got within a couple of lengths of Mount Mews, he made his hurdling debut in a G2 Neptune Trial at Cheltenham! Beaten a long way there he was then fifth to the very talented Keeper Hill over an inadequate trip and last time out was a very distant second to Any Drama. Bally Gilbert will probably be seen at his very best over fences, over 3m+ with the mud flying but has the right credentials to take this en route for Ben Pauling , Nico de Bonville is the cherry on a sizeable cake.
Thursday Lucky 15
One nice winner, again! Up £7 if you got the 7/1 early, down a fiver if you’re on at SP!
Taunton 3.35 PULL THE CHORD 4th 7/4F
One paced. Jumped fine if a bit close to a couple. In box seat but with small field tightly packed became the “boxed” seat and never got real racing room. Did I mention one paced!
Ludlow 4.00 ROC D’ASPIS 3rd 7/2F
Jumped excellently but guess what? One paced with a capital One! Did at least beat Dusky Lark, just!
Taunton 5.15 SCOOBY 1st 11/4F put up last night at 7/1 general
Prominent, reeled in long-time leader, Lost in Lecce, and outstayed The Two Amigo’s.
Ludlow 5.35 SERENITY NOW Fell 10/1
Under restraint on inside, held up, progress wide of pack, fell third last. Poo! RP analysis “Settled towards rear, effort home turn, 5th and going well and not yet asked for effort when fell 3 out “ Double Poo!
Cheltenham News starts right here!
Betfred @Betfred 10am March 2nd Alan King says Winter Escape will “almost certainly” run in the County Hurdle at #Cheltenham.
JumpsRacing.co.uk @CheltenhamNews Emerging Force to miss the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham and will go straight to @AintreeRaces in April.
1st March 2017 Timeform’s Ben Fearnley picks out an eye-catcher from the last week
Jury Duty – Chepstow, Saturday 25th February Gayebury, the winner of the Pertemps Qualifier at Chepstow on Saturday, will have gone down in plenty of notebooks after his much-improved performance on his first start over three miles (could even be worth a go in the Albert Bartlett). However the second that day, Jury Duty, also shaped with plenty of promise, especially with a view to the Pertemps Final itself at Cheltenham. Jury Duty travelled in to the race well before being left behind by the winner after two out, but this was his first start for three months following a taking win in a Navan handicap (which has worked out well since) and it should put him spot on for a crack at the main prize at Cheltenham later this month. Gordon Elliott
Nigel Twiston-Davies sportinglife.com March 02 2017, 14:24
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies gives us his thoughts on his stable stars ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.
Bristol De Mai Very exciting. What we saw at Haydock was phenomenal and if we’d taken that race to Newbury, he’d have been a lot better but he wasn’t in the same form but he’s had a nice long break now and he’s in great form. He was really good at Haydock, we can put a line through Newbury. He just wasn’t himself that day. We thought ‘oh dear, he’s not very good’ but when we got back home he was lame and he had a whole week of lameness and, you know, not being right. He slightly twisted a joint-type thing or whatever it was. He’s come right now as you saw today and if he can stay sound, then he’ll be very good. I’m very hopeful. He didn’t jump with his normal fluency and he hung badly to the left, he’s never done any of that before. Straight afterwards we thought we’d run him too soon after the last race but he was very lame when he came off the lorry and he’s had lots of injections and treatments and things and he looks 100% now. You saw him today, he looks absolutely gorgeous so hopefully he’ll be right back in the fray again. It’s impossible to compare him to Imperial Commander, you can’t compare them. We’ll play it by ear [tactically], he’s very much a horse that goes his own pace; you don’t tell him what to do. He’ll be right up there in the front line but he’s settling a lot better now and he stays, jumps – he’s uncomplicated. The ground’s not a worry, I think it inconveniences others more than him if it is soft but he seems to go on anything; he was second in the Festival last year in the JLT and now he goes well over further. His stamina was a surprise because in his younger days he was overkeen but now he settles, he’ll stay as long as you want. I think he’s very much under the radar now and I can understand that, I couldn’t understand that with Imperial Commander but I can understand his, because he did run very badly, well not badly, but it wasn’t a great run at Newbury.
The New One We have decided now that he will be going for the Stan James Champion Hurdle, it’s not as hot as it has been. We haven’t got a Faugheen in there this year. I think we’re all in agreement now, there seems to be a very good horse in Unowhatimeanharry in the Stayers’ and there isn’t an outstanding one in the Champion and I think it’s an easier choice [than it was a month ago] and we want to put right the unlucky bits we’ve had in the past. He was desperately unlucky in the first one, he was definitely knocked back more than he was beaten. If you look at the ratings – the handicapper, as he tells us, is always right – and he should be right there; he’s one of the top rated, himself and Yanworth are the two top rated ones, there’s a pound between them. Cheltenham brings the best out of him, he was only beaten eight lengths last year. Different tactics that we are employing now will hopefully turn that around and we’re very excited by him and are looking forward to it. This is going to be his fourth Champion Hurdle; he was very unlucky in his first one and hopefully this is the year when everything is going to fall right for him. Happier than we have been for a long time, as you know he’s had soundness issues in the past, this year since October he hasn’t had an unsound step – he’ll probably have one tomorrow now – and soundness he’s never been better. He doesn’t seem to be showing his age, when he won the International at Cheltenham he wasn’t showing his age that day; he sparkled that day. He never seems to sparkle at Haydock but he wins there well and back at his favourite course he’ll be flying up the hill. It would be just wonderful, it would really be the highlight of everything, he’s been so brilliant for us over the years.
Ballyoptic He was right upsides Unowhatimeanharry at Ascot when he fell. He was a little bit disappointing at Cheltenham last time, he’s had some time off and come back really well and strong – let’s hope he can do the business. Again, he’s right up there in the ratings and if it was a handicap, he’d be one of the top ones. He gallops and stays. The two falls he’s had he just slipped on landing, the one he took a stride and it wasn’t his fault at all at Wetherby, he just lost his backend at Ascot, very unlucky.
Ballyandy We’ve just about totally decided we’ll go for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He cantered to the last in the Betfair and quickened away nicely. We’ve always thought an awful lot of him and we can’t understand why he didn’t do better in his first three races but he managed to handicap himself nicely and let’s go on to better things now. We checked his wind, checked everything and there was nothing amiss; maybe with time, he’s just got better and better. He’s got plenty of speed, he won there this time last year and we’re really looking forwards to it and hopefully we can take our revenge on Moon Racer.
Wholestone He has done absolutely nothing wrong this season. He’s won three times at Cheltenham. He’s not flashy by any means but he does what has to be done and has won three times round there and been second once.
Three miles really suits, ground not a problem and he keeps pulling out that little bit extra so he deserves to be one of the favourites. I don’t know what the Irish are going to bring over but the Tizzard favourite [West Approach], I know he’s been unlucky but we’ve beaten him twice already. I understand he’s been unlucky but the form says we’ve beaten him twice.
Flying Angel He’s one of the puzzles of the whole thing. He was very good at Warwick in the Kingmaker and so what do we do? Do we take on the supposed unbeatable Altior or do we go for what could be the easier version in the JLT? You shouldn’t be frightened of one horse. We don’t know we’re going to be discussing it right up until the end.
Arctic Gold, Ballymalin & Splash Of Ginge They all get in [to the Pertemps Network Final]. Splash Of Ginge qualified just the other day, Ballymalin has done nothing wrong all season and he’s looking pretty good, a novice, he could be the one coming from down below who hasn’t been exposed. He could be right there. Arctic Gold won very well in his qualifier at Sandown. Difficult to split them all. Splash Of Ginge has been a wonderful horse for us over the years as you all know and, again, it will be exciting times.
Ballycross & Calett Mad Both very nice horses, obviously the one that shines out a bit is Calett Mad [for the (JT McNamara National Hunt Challenge Cup]. Bit disappointing that he was beaten up at Wetherby but I think we can put that down to the softer ground. He was very impressive at Taunton the run before on better ground and we do think that better ground….. good-to- soft which it will probably be on that first day should suit him and he’s rated 145 and he should be right there in the mix.
Ballykan He ran well at Kempton on Saturday. He was very good there having had a break will come on for that run and hopefully he’ll get in [to the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate ], it’s very difficult to know but hopefully he will and you can’t rule him out.
Crievehill & Ballyhill Will they get in [to the Martin Pipe]? Crievehill, very pleased with him, again he’s done nothing wrong this season and very keen on his chances should he get in that but I’ve also got him in the County and probably go for the County if we could get in. The two miles will suit him, I’m sure he’ll stay but we’ve only run him over two miles so far. I hate standing here stuttering about these sorts of things but it’s just in the hands of the Gods really isn’t it? We just don’t know what’s going on. Ballyhill in the Martin Pipe, he’s been fine for us this year but that’s the one that the handicappers might have really clobbered, he’s won two and he’s quite high in the weights.
Foxtail Hill I think probably Foxtail Hill is our best chance. He is first or second favourite for the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase. He was very impressive there last time and he managed to stay inside the rating band, 0-140. It’s almost a lower class JLT because they will all be within three or four pound weight bands so basically they’re all running off level weights. He was good last time and we’re very hopeful. He’s nearly a JLT horse but why go for that when there’s this, I just think he and Ballyandy are my two best chances I’d have thought.
Robinshill I think we’ll go for one of the handicaps. What can we get in? Which way are they going to unfold? Probably the two and a half mile on the Wednesday [Coral Cup] if we think we can get in but it will all depend on the declarations; it’s so much up in the air.
Sir George Somers He’s never run and he’s unlikely to get there [the JCB Triumph Hurdle] as we’re struggling with fitness with him. The next few days will tell us but we needn’t talk about him too much at the moment.
Cheltenham Weights launch Wednesday 1 March 2017 Want to know all the whispers and nuggets from Cheltenham on Wednesday? RUK’s Andy Stephens shares the secrets that he learnt. A string of trainers were at Cheltenham on Wednesday as the weights for the 10 handicaps at the Festival were announced. Andy Stephens was on hand to pick up nuggets of information and top tips.
CHARLIE LONGSDON Horse: Our Kaempfer Race: RSA Best odds: 25-1
Our Kaempfer is disputing favouritism for the Ultima Handicap Chase on the opening day of the meeting but seems much more likely to run in the RSA Chase 24 hours later. “I think he’s in the form of his life,” Longsdon said. “Whether he’s good enough, I don’t know, but the RSA is a very open race. The favourite is rated 152 and we are rated 4lb inferior to that, which is not far off the pace. I don’t think the RSA looks the strongest this year and is more open than other races. I’ve always said in the Ultima, in fact all the handicaps, you need a stone up your sleeve. He couldn’t win the Pertemps last year off an 8lb lower mark and you only get one chance to run in the RSA, so that’s where I am leaning.”
NEIL MULHOLLAND Horse: Southfield Theatre Race: Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase Best odds: 14-1
Neil Mulholland will have about ten runners and could have a few aces up in sleeve. He seems very keen on Southfield Theatre. “I like him,” Mulholland said of the nine-year-old. “I think his form in the four-miler last year behind Native River and Minella Rocco stands up very well. He ran in Punchestown [after Cheltenham last year], didn’t come back 100 per cent, and he has been quite a hard horse to train this year. Obviously his first run [back] at Doncaster was a bit disappointing but we feel he’s come on an awful lot for that and we have been able to press on a lot harder. He has been very delicate but Doncaster was a nice confidence booster and he has been able to take a fair bit of graft since.”
TOM GEORGE Horse: Singlefarmpayment Race: Ultima Handicap Chase Best odds: 14-1
The trainer suggested he had still not fully chosen between the Champion Chase and Ryanair Chase for God’s Own – a niggle for those of us who have backed him to win the Champion Chase in a market excluding Douvan – and has also yet to make a definitive plan for Singlefarmpayment, who has various options. However, I fancy he will end up running in the Ultima Handicap Chase. “A lot of people seem interested in him,” George said. Is he well handicapped? “I would say so, definitely. Off 142 you’ve got to be taking the handicaps very seriously with him. He was impressive when winning his novice handicap chase here and was unfortunate to be brought down at the last meeting.”
JOE TIZZARD Horse: Sizing Codelco Race: Brown Advisory Plate Handicap Chase Best odds: 20-1
Team Tizzard have the first and second favourite for the Gold Cup, plus a couple of crack novices to run. But for the second time inside a week, Sizing Codelco was nominated as perhaps the stable’s best bet of the week. Colin Tizzard volunteered that at a press day at his yard last Thursday and, today, son Joe repeated it. “He’s off of 140,” the former jockey said. “He disappointed here on his first run for us, then we ran him a week later with blinkers on and it sharpened him up and he ran a huge race behind Top Notch. He gets in off 10st 4lb, hopefully he will sneak in at the bottom and we think he’s a well handicapped horse.”
WARREN GREATREX Horse: La Bague Au Roi Race: Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Best odds: 7-1
The trainer reported Cole Harden in fine fettle for the Stayers’ Hurdle, a race he won he won two years ago, but it was his enthusiasm for La Bague Au Roi that was compelling. “I’ve no doubt she’s up to it,” he said. “She’s three from three from over hurdles and the only time she’s been beaten is when she wasn’t right at Aintree last year. She’s had a good winter break and come back looking fantastic. She will have a gallop at Newbury this weekend and that will be her final bit of work, but she looks as good as ever. All races here are very good, but she’s very smart.”
JONJO O’NEILL Horse: Minella Rocco Race: Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Best odds: 25-1
The trainer rarely leaves the Festival empty handed but does not seem upbeat about any of his handicap contenders, including Holywell – who he says is in good form at home but described as running “stinking” this year. O’Neill is never one to burden any horse with a “my best chance” tag but did volunteer a tasty little titbit to Racingukcom regarding Minello Rocco, who may wear some headgear for the first time in the blue riband after successive falls. “I might put a pair of cheekpieces on him, just to help him concentrate,” O’Neill said. He added that More Of That is also likely to take his chance in the big one.
ALAN KING Horse: Dino Velvet Race: Fred Winter Hurdle Best odds: 25-1
King is enjoying a fabulous season and has several leading Festival candidates, including Yanworth in the Stan James Champion Hurdle and Master Blueyes in the JCB Triumph Hurdle. But, for the purposes of this column, we wanted one of his darker ones. “Coming here today I was worried Dino Velvet had not gone up at the weekend but, having seen the weights, I’m very pleased he hasn’t,” he revealed. “Off 125, he would not have got in over the last few years. I thought he ran very well [last time when second at Ludlow] but he [the handicapper] has left him where he was. He could be very interesting and of all my handicappers, he’s the one I’m most excited about.”
Incidentally, King is no nearer knowing who will ride Yanworth but would like a decision soon to ensure his new rider gets a sit on him beforehand. Apparently, too, Barry Geraghty would have chosen Yanworth over Buveur D’Air had he not been injured, although that did not come from King.
BEN PAULING Horse: A Hare Breath Race: Arkle Best odds: 50-1
Pauling has have several live contenders in the novice events but seems insulted by the odds being offered against A Hare Breath landing the Arkle. The nine-year-old won in good style on his chasing before being beaten at short odds at Doncaster last time. “He goes to the Arkle,” Pauling said. “Whether or not that’s the right decision we will soon find out. His jumping has got better and better. Doncaster was a muddle of a race. I expected Marracudja to go a million [miles per hour] but he didn’t want to go very fast at all that day and we got left in front six from home. It turned into a sprint and we got outsprinted. Altior looks head and shoulders above the rest and we can avoid him if we want, but if we get him into the places in an Arkle it would be brilliant. At 50-1 he’s a bonkers price. Other horses he’s either beaten, or been just beaten by, are 16-1 and 20-1. He’s in great form and the thing massively in his favour is he loves the track. His form around here is very good. All he wants is a fast run race – he will get it – and it means we will be able to ride him how we like to ride him, which is to come late.”
NEIL MULHOLLAND Horse: The Druids Nephew Race: Ultima Handicap Chase Best odds: 16-1
The trainer was not hiding any secrets from those gathered at the racecourse and so he gets a second mention. He almost merited a third, too, with Impulsive Star in the Pertemps, another 14-1 shot. He looks like running three in the Ultima Handicap Chase – The Druids Nephew, The Young Master and Pilgrims Bay. The one he is very sweet on is The Druids Nephew, however. “He won the race off 146 two years ago and is back off 146. We think he’s every bit as good, if not better, and he’s in great form,” he said. You cannot say fairer than that.
MARTIN KEIGHLEY Horse: Any Currency Race: Glenfarclas Cross Cross Country Chase Best odds: 12-1
Joy turned to heartache for Martin Keighley and his team last season when Any Currency won the Glenfarclas Cross Cross Country Chase, only to lose the race months later. Few horses have won at the Festival as a 14-year-old, but the trainer seems adamant his old warrior can defy Father Time. “Last season it was disappointing for everybody involved to lose the race and it’s made me determined to get him in the same form,” Keighley said. “He’s in great nick and I genuinely believe he can do it. Richard Johnson rode him on Festival Trials Day and said he jumped great and felt fantastic. He has a bit of catching up to do with the three in front of him that day, but he needed that race and there is improvement to come.” He added: “He’s been amazing – he’s run at Cheltenham 19 times and won or been placed 14 times. That takes some doing and this will be his seventh Festival in a row, He will be hard to replace when he does retire.”
So that is your top ten, but if you’ve got to the bottom of the copy you deserve a bonus – just like those hidden tracks that they used to put on CD albums.
Nicky Henderson took a very keen interest in what weight Divin Bere had been allotted in the Fred Winter. It was 10st 12lb but he calculated all those above the gelding would miss the race and, rather than run him with top weight, he seems more inclined to let him take his chance in the Triumph. Since his last run, Divin Bere has had a satisfactory spin at Kempton and Henderson has “played with his soft palate”. That is a wind op, to you and me.
RP Jack Haynes 6:41PM, MAR 1 2017
Holywell 10st 12lb Ultima Handicap Chase, Tuesday – general 16-1
Holywell has been beaten 247 lengths in three races he has completed this season and pulled up in the other, so why on earth is he vying for favouritism? Simply put, it all comes down to his festival form, which speaks for itself. Victories in the Pertemps Final in 2013 and this race the following year have been backed up in more recent years with a fourth in the Gold Cup behind Coneygree and second, again in this contest, last year. Supported into 8-1 for the Ultima 12 months ago, Holywell appeared to be travelling like the winner when breezing to the lead three out before being collared heading to the last by Un Temps Pour Tout. He arrived at last year’s festival having failed to complete in the Sky Bet Chase and has followed a similar route this time around but will run off a 5lb lower mark this year, with 10st 12lb on his back.
Dreamcatching 10st 4lb Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, Wednesday – general 8-1
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls is seeking a hat-trick in this juvenile contest and the vibes from Ditcheat last week were positive for ante-post favourite Dreamcatching. The four-year-old disappointed on his British debut when a well beaten sixth behind Charli Parcs at Kempton in December but bounced back in no uncertain terms last month, slamming a 17-runner novice hurdle field by upwards of seven lengths at Wincanton. Although that was not the strongest contest, it was a visually impressive performance and he appears well treated off a mark of 131 with further improvement likely. Nicholls said last week: “Dreamcatching won’t be far away in the Fred Winter. He bolted in at Wincanton on Saturday and has a mark of 131. He looks really progressive. It’s a race we’ve done really well in, with the first and second the last two years. Qualando, who won it in 2015, was off 131, and Diego Du Charmil won it last year off 133. So he’s around about the right mark.”
Tobefair 11st 7lb Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle, Thursday – general 6-1
In June 2015 Tobefair was rated 81 and had been beaten on every one of his six starts, but seven successive wins later he is now rated 143 and favourite for the Pertemps. It has been a remarkable rise. This seven-year-old, owned by Down The Quay Club and trained by Debra Hamer, has been one of the stories of the season with his official rating rising by 52lb. Described as “big, laidback and very tough” by the trainer’s husband Paul, Tobefair has shown determination and a will to win throughout the winter, winning by less than a length and three quarters on his last five starts. There is no telling when this fairytale will end and it would take a brave man to back against Tobefair producing more heroics at Cheltenham.
Diamond King 11st Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate, Thursday – 9-1 with Ladbrokes
Gordon Elliott enjoyed three festival winners last year, including two handicap successes along with Don Cossack’s triumph in the Gold Cup, and his Coral Cup victor Diamond King is strongly fancied to score again, this time over fences. Having embarked on a chasing career this campaign, Diamond King won on debut at Galway in October before finding Graded company too hot the last twice. He comfortably won the Coral Cup off a mark of 149 and is rated only 1lb higher over fences after three runs this season, with the Diana Whateley-owned nine-year-old afforded a weight of 11st for his target – the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate. With a nice racing weight and drying ground to suit, his claims are obvious, while Cheltenham Festival-winning form is a big plus. Elliott is hopeful of a bold showing, saying this week: “A bit of good ground and you’ll see a different horse. He just couldn’t get out of the testing ground last time – I’m looking forward to him.”
North Hill Harvey 11st 3lb Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle, Fri – general 8-1
The County Hurdle is always one of the greatest puzzles of the week but the support for favourite North Hill Harvey has been unwavering. North Hill Harvey, trained by Dan Skelton, has been backed into a best price 8-1 (from 12) in the last week alone and has followed a similar campaign to stablemate Superb Story, who won this race last year. The son of Kayf Tara has not raced since winning the Grade 3 Greatwood Hurdle at the track in November but that has been by design, with Skelton having eyes only for the festival. Skelton said last week: “It’s probably no coincidence we’ve plotted the same kind of route with him as Superb Story last year. He’s very tough and genuine and I didn’t want to give him a hard time of it in the winter on bad ground.”
Q – ToteSport – A plethora of handicaps take place throughout the week – have you any dark horses or horses that could take us by surprise?
A – Paul Ferguson (editor of Final Flight Publications) – Singlefarmpayment is an improving stayer who has impressed me this season and was unlucky when being brought down on trials day. He holds entries in the Ultima (Tuesday) and the Kim Muir (Thursday), and from a mark of 142 I would certainly want him onside in whichever race Tom George opts for. He is also in the RSA Chase and he would actually be my selection in that (currently 33-1) should connections opt to head down the Grade 1 route – that seems unlikely given his handicap rating. And, I backed one horse last week when the handicap entries came out, that being Peregrine Run for the Coral Cup (33-1, now shorter). Peter Fahey has suggested that the handicap option is favoured over the Albert Bartlett, provided he is happy with the weights once are unveiled (next week), and he will be very much of interest back on a quicker surface. His course success in November (beat Wholestone and West Approach) now reads really well and his recent Warwick third has also worked out well, with Gayebury winning impressively at the weekend. He was rated 141 by the UK handicapper prior to that run and it is hoped he gets a similar mark next week. If he gets anything in the low 140s I will be going in again, especially if we get a dry week.