Haydock has been Helnwein’s target since Warwick

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December 5

Helnwein is high up in the pecking order of what looks a strong team of Alan’s novices this season, and everyone at Barbury will doubtless be glued into Haydock on Wednesday to see how he shapes in a fascinating six-runner introductory hurdle.

Though Helnwein also has entries at Exeter and Sandown this week-end, Haydock has been the target for some time now, and Alan will be pleased to know that the north west has dried out considerably, so it looks like being all systems go for a trip up the M6.

Alan said:”Helnwein was only just ready to start at Warwick last month, so I was delighted he was able to make a winning hurdling debut there. He jumped superbly and cruised through most of the race, though he took a blow turning for home so it was encouraging to see him knuckle down and get the job done. There is plenty of improvement still in the locker.”

Similarly, the veteran Rainbow Dreamer was reckoned to be only just ready for his run in the London Stayers Series qualifier three weeks ago, the 10-year-old’s first outing since July. Consequently, despite being less than four weeks off his 11th birthday, Rainbow Dreamer, who had a proper summer holiday with six weeks in the field, ought to be that bit sharper for the Final at Kempton on Wednesday. It looks a hot race, but he revels on the all-weather surface and is particularly effective on the Sunbury course.

Back down the other end of the scale, Insanity is also one of the younger brigade whom Alan is keen on, so it will be interesting to see how he fares when he makes his jumping debut at Market Rasen on Thursday. Alan said:”Insanity did us proud on the Flat last season and we think an awful lot of him. He has schooled well.”

The Doyen Chief accompanies Insanity to Market Rasen, his target being the two and a half mile novice hurdle. Alan added:”He is another whom we rate highly. He won his point-to-point in Ireland and then went in at the first time of asking for us in a bumper at Hereford in April.

“He was only just touched off on his hurdling debut at Ludlow last month, being beaten by a race-fit winner of Nicky Henderson’s and one he likes a lot. They pulled clear of the rest, so are probably two nice horses, but The Doyen Chief is a fine, big horse who should come on plenty for that run.”

Also on Thursday we run Kay Tara Tara in the mares novice hurdle at Wincanton. Alan said: “She won first time out over hurdles at Huntingdon but unfortunately suffered a cut at home shortly after that race, so we have had to bring her along slowly. She is back in form now and, though she has a penalty to carry, she is a mare who should improve with racing.”

Chandlers Ford runs in the handicap hurdle there, He fell on his jumping debut at Wetherby last season and came back jarred up, which necessitated him being off a while. However, he ran well on his comeback at Ffos Las before putting in some sterling late work at Plumpton. He has since summered really well, and whatever he does here he should be kept in mind for later on.”