Plenty to look forward to on-track on Thursday and Friday

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March 4

Pre-Cheltenham is sometimes a quiet time for trainers in terms of runners, but it’s all systems go at Barbury for the second half of this week, with three fancied contenders in action today and nine runners split between Newbury and Doncaster tomorrow.

Alan is hoping the ground will continue to dry out at Ludlow today, with Doncaster winner Didonato expected to improve again for stepping up to three miles in the mares handicap hurdle, while Royal Pretender looks to have come on a lot for winning his jumpers bumper at Kempton and should go well in the novice handicap hurdle.

We also have a couple of runners down at Taunton, where  useful Flat racer Just In Time, who showed plenty of promise on his hurdling debut at Newbury, should be suited by stepping up in trip, while the Somerset track, though by no means galloping, will be more Terrafirma Lady‘s cup of tea in the handicap hurdle than were the sharp turns of Fakenham last time.

Alan’s followers will barely have time to pop in the kitchen for a coffee break between 1.50pm and 5.05pm on Friday, with nine Barbury runners in action.

Assessing his hopes for our local track,, Alan said:”We’ve been waiting for a couple of months for some decent ground and at last our prayers have been answered, so it looks like being a busy day. We start with Eyes Right, who makes her chasing debut and is a big, strong mare who, though showing promise over hurdles, looks the type who could improve for going over fences, She ran well in a jumpers bumper last month and has had plenty of practice over fences at home, schooling well on Monday.”

Next up is William H Bonney in the Geoffrey Gilbey Chase, and Alan said:”He jumped out to the left at Kempton last time so will be better suited by going the other way round, and he was a good second in a jumpers bumper at Lingfield last month.”

Outonpatrol has done well since undergoing wind surgery last winter, and Alan added: “She ought to be suited by stepping up to three miles in the handicap hurdle. She has been consistent all season and the improved ground is also a definite plus for her.

“Better ground should also suit Santon in the conditional handicap hurdle as he didn’t handle the testing conditions at Wincanton last time. He had previously run really well at Doncaster.

Maid On The Moon is our representative in the bumper, and she comes from a good family and has been pleasing me at home, though this is her debut and she’ll improve for the experience.”