Friday January 13
We look like getting the green light at Huntingdon today, but with another cold night forecast we again have fingers and toes crossed that racing gets the go-ahead tomorrow, when we are involved at both Kempton and Warwick.
Like so many trainers, Alan has expressed his anger and disappointment about the Jockey Club’s plan to cash in Kempton for the mega bucks being dangled their way by the property developers, but we can but hope that common sense will prevail and meanwhile he’ll be hoping we get lucky with one of our four runners.
Alan said:”This is the obvious track for Fidux, who has to go right-handed so he takes his chance in the opening Juvenile Hurdle. He would have to improve on his winning debut at Catterick, but I was pleased how well he knuckled down up there and I think he’ll be even better going this way round.
“We run two in the three-mile novice hurdle. Like Fidux, Beneagles was denied a run at Ludlow last week when the meeting had to be abandoned. He was disappointing first time out at Uttoxeter, but he came back with a few issues which I hope we have put right and his point-to-point form would entitle us to expect a better display here, while Buffin Island makes his comeback, having broken down badly two years ago.
“He’s running in my own colours and will be a horse for the young lads to ride, but, though he is not without ability and also seems in good form, he has been off a long time and it will be just good to have him back.
“River Frost runs in his first handicap in the finale on the Sunbury course. He won well at Plumpton, though it was one of those low-sun days when they took half the hurdles out, so this will be more of a test.”
The Classic Chase at Warwick would not seem the same without a runner from Barbury – we won it with both D’Argent and West End Rocker – and last year’s runner-up Midnight Prayer tries to go one better and is accompanied up there by Sego Success.
“Midnight Prayer missed the cut in the Welsh National which was a shame, though he would never have beaten Native River, but he seems in good form, likes the course and needs this marathon trip.
“Sego Success actually started favourite for this race 12 months ago but go no farther than the second fence. He has run well on both his outings this season, finishing in the frame at Bangor and Doncaster, but we are trying him in blinkers for the first time. We schooled him in them on Monday and they seemed to sharpen him up, and he goes there in good form.”