Big week-end coming up at Newbury
Tomorrow is St Andrew’s Day, and, being a proud Scotsman, Alan would like nothing better than to top up the celebrations with a winner at Newbury, our local track.
This is their big week-end, with the £250,000 Hennessy (oops Ladbroke Trophy), the Berkshire course’s major race of the jumps season, being run on Saturday.
However, while Barbury’s Dingo Dollar has been declared for the big one, more about him tomorrow – first we must savour the hors d’oeuvres, with four Friday runners, including Talkischeap in the Grade 2 novice chase over two and a half miles.
Alan said:”Talkischeap was a useful handicap hurdler and a multiple point-to-point winner, and, having schooled well, he ran a smashing first race over the regulation fences at Newbury a couple of weeks ago, finishing third to La Bague Au Roi in what looked a hot race.
“He jumped well and travelled strongly until tiring two out, and that will have brought him on, so, while I would have preferred not to have had this week’s rain, he did surprise me when winning there in the soft last season, so, hopefully, he’ll cope with the conditions again.
“Brigade of Guards, who runs in the maiden hurdle, was a good third at Wincanton on his jumping debut, and the winner has won again since so the form looks solid. He was a good bumper horse who improved for the summer break, and he is the type who will get even better as he gains experience.
“Mr Pumblechook schooled well on Monday and should be suited by the step up to two and a half miles in the novice hurdle judged by the way he stayed on for third at Bangor.
“Our other runner is Karezak in the three-mile hurdle, his first race over jumps since he finished fourth in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in 2015.
“We learned nothing from a recent run on the Flat at Southwell, where he hated the fibresand surface, as to how fit he is, though I suspect he’ll need a run and maybe two before he is competitive.”