Label des Obeaux goes for gold at Ayr
Godsmejudge revives some magical memories of the Scottish Grand National – he won the Ayr marathon in 2013 and finished a gallant runner-up 12 months later – and how wonderful it would be if Label des Obeaux could emulate him tomorrow.
Alan has had this race pencilled in for Label des Obeaux since he won the novice handicap chase at this meeting last year, and, assessing his chance, he said:”Inevitably, he went up the handicap after that success and he has found it tough going in the 150’s this season, but he has dropped back down to 147 and the more the ground dries out the better his chance.
“Any improvement in the ground would also suit The Unit in the Scottish Champion Hurdle. It’s too late in the season to be losing your novice status over fences, so he is switching back to the smaller obstacles and he’s a decent hurdler – he finished third in a Grade 1 at Aintree last season.
“Another who might finally get her ground is Mia’s Storm, who goes for the Future Champion Novices’ Chase. She had to miss Aintree because of the testing going as Kempton on Boxing Day confirmed that she could not cope with those conditions. However, she’s a smart mare and I hope she’ll get the chance to show what she can do here.
“Dingo Dollar runs in the £100,000 three-mile handicap chase. He has got his act together now and has won his last two, at Newbury and Doncaster, and he might have run well in the Ultima at Cheltenham had the ground not been too heavy for him to take his chance.
“Finally, we run Senior Citizen in the bumper. He didn’t quite get home at Towcester, where he finished third, but he travelled the best horse in the race most of the way and is an interesting runner.”
“In what is a busy week-end, we have Passing Call heading for a valuable mares hurdle at Stratford on Sunday. She has been suffering from second-itis, but I’m hoping that a switch to handicap company might do the trick.
“We also run Newtown Boy in the bumper at Wincanton. He’s a newcomer who was bought for 100,000 Euros as a three-year-old, and he’s been ready to run for some time but we have been waiting for the ground to dry out.”
We run two on the Flat at Wolverhampton on Saturday evening. It will be interesting to see Elgin in the mile and a half maiden – he’s a high-class hurdler and finished fifth in the Champion last month – and, while this is his Flat debut, he did run well in three bumpers, winning one at Haydock.
Our other Dunstall Park runner is Elysees in the mile and a half handicap, and Alan expects him “to be suited by stepping up in trip and one who could be very competitive.”