How lucky we are to have the all-weather tracks
During this seemingly never-ending spell of wet weather – are we really approaching the second week in April – Alan has been tearing his hair out with frustration and in runners alone he is well down on previous seasons for this time of the year.
We can only hope that the ground for Aintree, soft at the moment, will improve before the Grand National meeting starts next Thursday, but meanwhile we are in action on the polytrack at Kempton tomorrow, with a twin attack on the prestigious Queen’s Prize.
Alan, who looks like having a team of 50 for the current Flat season, has done well on the all-weather, and, besides Inn The Bull, who completed a hat-trick when winning at Kempton last Saturday, he also saddles First Mohican for a race which might well bring down the curtain to the career of Henry Ponsonby’s popular veteran.
Ponsonby has already got a Queen’s Prize trophy on his mantelpiece, courtesy of Captain Miller, and how Alan would love to see the 10-year-old give him a second.
He said:”First Mohican has been a tremendous servant for Henry and his team, but he hasn’t been showing us too much at home lately and may have had enough, so we are looking to find him a good home for his retirement.
“His greatest day for us was when finishing second in the 2016 Cesarewitch at Newmarket, but he was Frankel’s regular galloping companion when with Henry Cecil, and that probably scarred him mentally.
“First Mohican is a great character and he’s won his owners almost £160,000 in prize money. Hollie Doyle, who gets on so well with him, again rides, and it will be emotional when we have to say farewell to him.
“We are stepping Inn The Bull up two two miles, but he looks as if he will stay further and he knuckled down well to get the job done over a mile and a half there last week, so even off a 5lb higher mark I’d hope he would be competitive.”
We also run Crushed in the mile and a half handicap at Wolverhampton on Saturday night, and Alan added:”There is no point in persevering with hurdles for Crushed while the ground is so testing, and he won a couple of times on the Flat for William Haggas and has been pleasing us at home.”