Interesting couple of days at Newbury this week-end

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March 21

We all feared the worst for our Festival trio when Cheltenham experienced another soaking on day one, and, sure enough, though Edwardstone had the chasing pack worried with his repeat of those catch-me-if-you-can tactics in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the testing ground proved too much and he was a tired horse when he fell at the second last.

If Edwardstone does have another run this season, it would be the Celebration Chase at Sandown on the final day as the Grade 1 at Aintree is two and a half miles.

Alan reflected:”Edwardstone would have finished third had he stood up, which would have been no disgrace in those conditions, and, though he was a bit sorry for himself he soon picked up.”

Similarly, the ground found out Favour And Fortune in the Supreme. He did not jump well, otherwise he could well have been placed, but Alan is adamant that he is a 10lb better horse on decent ground, and he plans to take a look at both Aintree and the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr.

It was the same story for our other Cheltenham runner, Emitom, in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle, in which he battled on well to finish fifth.He likes his races spaced out, so that might be it for this spring for him.

We are in for a busy couple of days at Newbury this weekend. The more the ground dries out at our local course the better the chance of Hall Lane in the two and three-quarter mile chase on Friday, and that also applies to Kay Tara Tara in the Mares Novices’ Hurdle Final on Saturday.

Alan said:”We sent Kay Tara Tara up to Ayr to get qualified for this £55,000 race. She finished second to an odds-on chance, so being only 2lb higher she’ll hopefully be competitive.”

We launch a two-pronged attack on the Goffs Spring Sale Bumper, a race in which Alan has a good record in. He said:”I’ve won it with Lidar, Montbazon and The Unit in the past, and we had three debutants among the first six home last year. It will be tougher for this saeson’s newcomers as the wet weather has meant that we have been unable to get on the grass much.

“They’ll both improve with experience, but Don’t Mind If I Do has been working well at home with last Saturday’s Kempton winner Blues Singer. He is a fine big horse and one we are looking forward to for next winter.

Tikiti Dino does not show us as much on the gallops, but it will be good to get him started, and, as I’ve said, several of mine have surprise me in this race in the past.”