Fingers crossed Edwardstone’s season finally starts at Sandown

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December 2

We go into today’s racing with one winner and five seconds from seven runners this week, and it has to be encouraging that the horses are in top form for what is going to be a busy Saturday.

Alan will be at Sandown this afternoon to supervise Raymond Tusk and the two juvenile hurdlers, and, doubtless, he’ll also be out on the steeplechase course to check just how much the ground has dried out as we look forward to Edwardstone hopefully belatedly making his seasonal debut in tomorrow’s Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase.

November has been frustrating for Edwardstone and his owner-breeders, but Alan reports the horse in great form and rarin’ to go.

He said:”Edwardstone schooled on Monday and he has also had a trip to Lambourn, where Nicky (Henderson) kindly allowed us to work him on the Faringdon Road gallop.

“Obviously, it is not ideal going into such a big race without a prep-run, but we have no other option as the ground was too quick at both Cheltenham and Ascot.”

Our other runner on the Esher course on Saturday is Moonamacaroona in the mares handicap hurdle.

Alan added:”It’s Moonamacaroona’s first run back and she did not live up to expectations last season, but I have not lost faith in her and she has been working well.

“She won two bumpers but we pressed the wrong buttons with her over hurdles. However, she had a wind operation in the summer and the plan after this is to maybe go over fences. She has to be played late, but she has lots of ability.”

Another one of our high-profile horses is Harbour Lake, who heads up the M6 to Aintree for their finale, the two and a half mile handicap hurdle.

Alan said:”Harbour Lake stepped up in class for the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham last month and finished a decent third. The fact that three hurdles were taken out because of the low sun did not help him as it made the race more of a test of Flat speed, so I was very pleased with his run. Both the ground and this extra distance should suit him.”

We also have three runners at Chepstow, and, summing up their prospects, Alan said:”Royal Pretender is in the conditional jockeys handicap hurdle, and he ran a good race to finish second at Lingfield on what was the softest ground he has encountered.

Future Investment was fourth at Warwick, his first race since February, and he has made a big step forward. I was pleased how well he stayed on and also that there was no sign of the bleeding issue he suffered last season.

“Last but not least we have an exciting prospect in the bumper in Helnwein. He is owned by Noel Fehily’s racing syndicates and was placed in an Irish point-to-point last April.”