Tuesday 6.00pm No Lucky 15 tonight with Wednesdays cards being three AW meetings and a Sedgefield meeting that doesn’t inspire me at all! Got about as far as Helmsley Lad in the four runner novice hurdle at 4.45 to make use of the 7lbs he receives, maybe, possibly. Then I gave up!
Let’s see if I can finish off a post-Cheltenham blog and get it on-line tonight.
Tuesdays Lucky 15
Hexham 3.30 RYEDALE RACER 4th 9/2 (5/1 general)
Travelled OK but nothing in the home straight and one would have to assume now needs some help from the handicapper.
Hexham 4.00 HATTONS HILL 1st 11/4F (7/2 general)
Hope I was positive enough last night to persuade you to back this one on his own. Outstayed a one paced Gibbstown, who had been on the bridle running to the last, on Hexham’s taxing run in.
Southwell 2.40 AZERT DE COUER PU 9/2 (6/1 C 11/2 L 9/2 WH, 4/1 PP !! )
Prominent to 5th, weakened. BHA Stewards Reports “The Veterinary Officer reported that AZERT DE COEUR (FR), which pulled up, trained by Venetia Williams, bled from the nose.” Oh dear.
Southwell 3.40 FIFTY BOB 5th 11/2 (7/2 general)
Not helped by leader jumping right, pushed into contention throughout second circuit, mistake two out, weakened.
Small Aintree team for trainer Willie Mullins March 28 2017, 08:56
Willie Mullins has no plans to descend upon Aintree next week with an army of horses. The County Carlow handler was last season well represented at the three-day meeting as he was embroiled with Paul Nicholls in a fascinating clash for the British trainers’ title. But Mullins told the Irish Independent: “I normally don’t have a big team at Aintree. “Last year we were (going for the trainers’ title) but this year we are reverting to normal. We’ll run a couple in the National, Pleasant Company and Alelchi Inois. We could have a bumper horse and possibly something in the Aintree Hurdle. Footpad is maybe more Punchestown-bound. For Nichols Canyon, we are looking at Punchestown and the race in America (Calvin Houghland Iroquois) in May, in which he ran last year. I imagine the juveniles will be kept for Punchestown.”
Mullins reports his six Cheltenham Festival winners to have recovered well from their exertions, and issued a positive bulletin on Annie Power, who missed the big meeting due to injury. He said: “They have come out of the Festival very well. Also Annie Power could run at Punchestown. We step up work in the next couple of weeks. Min is just OK, Annie is in better order.”
Mullins believes Yorkhill did enough in the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Festival to make him a worthy contender for next season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. The seven-year-old is unbeaten in three tries over fences and is already as low as 6/1 about winning the Gold Cup next March. His trainer said: “Yorkhill is settling and he is jumping. That he can jump around Cheltenham and that his pedigree is a real old-fashioned chasing, one would tell me the progression would be the Gold Cup on that performance. He’s learning and maturing. This time next year he could be that (Gold Cup) direction.”
Racing Post Graham Dench 9:19AM, MAR 28 2017
Harry Fry will bypass Aintree with both Neon Wolf and American and wait instead for Punchestown at the end of April, where their participation will hinge upon there being enough give underfoot. Fry endured a frustrating Cheltenham, when Neon Wolf was beaten a head by Willoughby Court in the Neptune after an awkward jump at the last, Unowhatimeanharry was only third when odds-on for the Stayers’ Hurdle, Air Horse One was a close fourth in the County Hurdle, and American missed the RSA Chase owing to quickening ground.
Unknowhatimeanharry‘s possible participation in the 3m Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle at Aintree on Grand National day has yet to be confirmed by owner JP McManus’s racing manager Frank Berry, but Fry said neither Neon Wolf nor American, who bolted up at Uttoxeter on testing ground the day after the festival finished, would run at the meeting.
Fry, who said there are no plans for Air Horse One, confirmed: “Neon Wolf will be entered in the two-and-a-half mile novice hurdle (Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle) at Punchestown, and if he runs again it will be there, but it’s the last week in April and it will be ground dependent. American will have an entry there in the three-mile novice chase [Grade 1 Growise Champion Novice Steeplechase] but he needs genuinely soft ground and might wait until the autumn.”