Big week-end for our juvenile hurdlers

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December 14

Rain is expected this week-end, but it’s anybody’s guess as to when it will arrive at Cheltenham and Doncaster, so we are very much playing with “blind cards”.

However, there is no shortage of quality in our confirmed entries at these two meetings, and, though there was a mass exodus because of the fast ground on Town Moor today, underfoot conditions should suit both Cracker Factory and Elysees in the Grade 2 Summit Hurdle, which we won with Who Dares Wins three years ago.

Alan said:”Cracker Factory is not a soft ground horse, so he’ll have his winter break after this and return in the spring.

“He has been doing us proud early season and was second at Cheltenham last month, while his earlier Wensleydale  Hurdle victory at Wetherby received a handsome boost when the runner-up won a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse last week-end.

“Elysees won his last two races at short odds, and we took a chance in running him a week after Warwick at Ludlow, which would not have been his track. Doncaster will suit him much better.”

Our other exciting juvenile hurdler is Fret d’Estruval, who has his first run us in the Triumph Trial at Cheltenham, and Alan added: “He won his last two races for Guillaume Macaire in France, and it will be good to get him started, and, like Cracker Factory, he is owned by Messrs Munir and Souede.”

Assessing our other Saturday runners, Alan said:”We’d love that rain to arrive in time for Full Glass, who is in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.

“He had a good blow at Haydock and the race should have brought him on. He has been giving the fences at home a lot more respect than he did the first at Haydock, but he ran well on his one run for us since he came over from France at Ayr in April when again the ground was as quick as he would want.

“We also run Giveaway Glance in the mares handicap hurdle. She battled on well to win at Ludlow last week, and going back up in trip will suit her.

“Back up at Doncaster we have Newtown Boy in the novice hurdle. He won at Hereford last month and is another who we are best cracking on with before the rains come.

The Unit has topweight in the handicap chase up there. That will be no easy task, but he is fresh and well and he, too, enjoys this ground so will have his winter break after this.”