Storm Dennis could be a real menace to racing this week-end

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February 14

Storm Dennis hovers menacingly over our already saturated tracks, carrying rain aplenty, plus more gale-force winds, so, like all other trainers, Alan can only hope that its arrival is delayed and we can enjoy some excellent racing on Saturday and Sunday this week-end.

Elgin, in particular, is one that Alan is looking forward to, the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton having been pencilled in for his return for some time now.

Alan said:”Elgin has been off 19 months, but he was a high-class hurdler a couple of seasons ago, winning the Kingwell as well as the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham and also finishing fifth in the Champion Hurdle.

“After then winning twice on the flat he suffered a tendon injury, and his eagerly awaited comeback this season has been forced to be delayed as he had t0 be hobdayed.

“His homework has been as good as ever, but he’s a big, gross horse and, though I’ve done as much as I can with him, he will obviously improve on whatever he does at Wincanton should they get the green light to race.

“We also have Midnightreferendum down there in the handicap hurdle. Shee put her disappointing Wincanton comeback behind her when finishing an excellent third in a mares race at Cheltenham’s December meeting, staying on well up the straight, but I’d worry about heavy ground.”

Alan has kept his options open by declaring Alsa Mix for both the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot and Sunday’s rescheduled mares chase at Exeter on Sunday.

He favours Alsa Mix sticking to her own sex but will be guided by the weather. “She will benefit from going right-handed and also stepping up to three miles,” added Alan.

We also have a couple Alan plans to send to Market Rasen on Sunday. He said:”Blame on Sally makes his jumping debut in the juvenile maiden hurdle.

“He was a decent Flat horse, winning three races over two miles for Sir Mark Prescott. We bought him for 70,000gns at Newmarket last autumn and, though he is not the quickest, he is getting the hang of jumping and it will be interesting to see how he shapes.

“Our other runner up there is Outonpatrol in the mares handicap hurdle, though I would like to see the ground dry out enough for her to take her chance. She finished in the frame at Plumpton and Wincanton and has had her breathing tidied up which should help her.”

And finally we must not forget Rainbow Dreamer, who runs in the condition stakes at Kempton’s on Sunday. He has gone up 13lb for winning his last three races, two of them on this track. He is unbeaten on the all-weather and Alan has pencilled in this fast-track qualifier as another stepping-stone to a tilt at Lingfield’s valuable meeting on Good Friday.