Friday November 11

Only three weeks until the Hennessy – sorry it’s the Ladbroke Trophy these days – and Alan gives Label des Obeaux his prep for Newbury in the Listed Intermediate Chase at Sandown on Saturday.

“He always needs his first run, so I was quite happy with his recent comeback at Chepstow and he’ll come on for that. I’ve been very happy with him. He won the big novice chase well at Ayr in April and long-term we might be looking to take him back there for the Scottish National. He’s not a Cheltenham horse – he has never run well there so we’ll avoid Prestbury Park.”

We have three other runners at Sandown, and Alan added:”Bastien runs in the opening conditional jockeys handicap hurdle. He won his first two races last season but then came back with a bad scope after disappointing at Market Rasen. He’s enjoyed a long summer break and is working better than he has ever done.

Second Time Around runs in the maiden hurdle. He was progressive on the bumper circuit last season, winning the final one at Market Rasen, and we are looking forward to getting him started jumping.

“Finally, we have Fidux in the two-mile series qualifier. He won his first two juvenile hurdles last season, though I was convinced the handicapper over-reacted, but he ran well in a valuable handicap at Sandown at the back-end and, having thrived through the summer, he ran a solid race on his return at Chepstow. However, I still think he is too high in the weights.”