Beringer is back – and he’s been dropped 4lb!
We always look for some sympathetic generosity from the handicapper when a horse gets into the twilight zone of his racing career, and, happily, our popular eight-year-old Beringer, who makes his long-awaited reappearance at Newbury on Saturday, has found a listening ear and been granted a helping hand by the official assessor.
Beringer, ridden for the first time by Tom Marquand, will be running for the first time since he finished fourth in this race 12 months ago, so Alan will be happy that he has been dropped 4lb to a mark of 98.
That is the lowest that Beringer has been since he gave subsequent four-times G1 winner Lord North a fright in the 30-runner Cambridgeshire Handicap of 2019.
Recurring injury problems meant that Beringer, who raced only twice the following season, then had another 18 months on the sidelines until this meeting last year.
So, while Alan hopes that he will be competitive, the one wish is that the old horse is as sound as a pound (sounder judged by the state of our economy!) when he checks him out on Sunday morning.
Beringer has always looked equally effective over this mile as he has 10 furlongs, and, while he might need that extra distance now that the years have rolled by, this looks the perfect race in which to start back.
Another horse of ours returning tomorrow, having been ‘in the wars;, is JP McManus’s Heart Of A Lion, one of three runners which we are sending to Bangor.
Heart Of A Lion’s future as a chaser looked promising when he made a winning debut over the larger obstacles at Ludlow 18 months ago, but he has not so far fulfilled those expectations.
To be fair, Heart Of A Lion has not had much luck, and he was struck into on his right-fore fetlock joint when returning at Fontwell in April after a five-month absence. The drying ground will definitely help Heart Of A Lion.
Pass The Love On has to carry topweight in the two and a half mile hurdle at Bangor, but Alan has always felt that this mare would come into her own when she went handicapping, so, despite the welter burden, he is hoping for a solid run.
Finally, our four-year-old Granny Hawkins takes on a few older mares when she makes her debut in the bumper.
Granny Hawkins was bought for £23,000 at Goffs Sales almost a year ago to the day, but considering that she is by Blue Bresil, also the sire of subsequent runaway Champion Hurdle winner Constitution Hill, that might have been money well spent, to put it mildly.