Elgin ruled out for the season
The new jumps season proper has yet to start, but Alan already has news of a setback for one of his stable-stars, with Elgin, fifth in this year’s Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, being ruled out of the winter campaign because of injury.
Elgin proved a star last year for the Elite Racing Club, winning two valuable handicap hurdles, the William Hill at Ascot and the Greatwood at Cheltenham, together with the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton.
Alan said:”Sadly, Elgin is out for the season. He got injured in a field and we had to fire him, so he’ll be off for a year. It’s a shame, but he’s young enough to come back.”
Another of the high-profile Barbury team, Yanworth, successful twice at Grade 1 level over hurdles and also in Grade 2 company over fences, is also off-games, though Alan is hopeful that that he might be ready to return in the New Year.
He added:”Yanworth had a problem after Cheltenham and is convalescing at his owner JP McManus’s Martinstown Stud in Limerick, but we are hoping that we might get him back for the second half of the season.”
Alan had better news, however, of last season’s classy novice chaser Sceau Royal and promising juvenile hurdler Redicean.
He said:”Sceau Royal is in good form and I imagine he’ll return in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham next month. I think Altior is going there, too, but we haven’t got too many options where we can start him off.
“Sceau Royal was a very good novice last season, winning the Grade 1 Henry VIII Chase at Sandown, and I plan to stick to two miles with him for the time being.
“Redicean, who won his first three races over jumps, could be aimed at the £40,000 Masterson Holdings Hurdle for four-year-olds at the first Cheltenham meeting at the end of the month.
“He has summered well, having been pulled apart on that appalling ground in the Triumph. That finished him and I couldn’t get him back for Aintree or Punchestown, but this is the perfect race to start Redicean off as he will be against his own age group. We’ll get over that first hurdle before making further plans, but he is a horse whom I have a lot of faith in.”