Drop in trip might suit Pumpkin’s Pride at Bangor

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June 9

We’ve had three seconds and a third since Hourless made the long journey to Hexham worthwhile last Saturday, and how Alan – together with every racehorse trainer in the land, I suspect – would love a week’s non-stop rain, rather than the forecast in-and-out thunderstorms the weathermen are predicting for this week-end.

All-weather gallops are fantastic, but there is no substitute for working on grass and everyone wants some continuous rain so that they can get some proper exercise into the horses, not only those who are being prepared for Royal Ascot but all of them.

Nobody will take a risk when the racecourses have lightning fast ground, and Alan is hoping that conditions will be suitable for his only two entries this Saturday, both at Bangor.

Heart of a Lion tries three miles again in the handicap chase, having departed too far out to know whether the step up in distance was what he wanted here three weeks ago. He had looked so promising when switching to fences and making a winning debut at Ludlow last November, but things have not gone his way since. Here’s hoping we get to learn a bit more at Bangor.

Our other runner there is Pumpkin’s Pride in the novices handicap hurdle. The trip is just short of two and a half miles and coming down in distance ought to suit him, as he did not look to get home when favourite over further at Ludlow last month. Maybe Pumpkin’s Pride is better judged on his third to Doors Breaker at Doncaster in February.

That was the closest he has got to the winner’s enclosure, and it was encouraging that he finished his race off so well on Town Moor,