Last jumps meeting of the season at Newbury this week-end
Tuddenham Green scored a bloodless success against one solitary rival at Haydock on Wednesday, but little fish are sweet and now we can look forward to a busy couple of days at Newbury this week-end, when the curtain comes down on the jumps season at our local course.
Ernest Gray runs in the three-mile hurdle, and Alan said:”Now that we have worked out that stamina is his strong suit, I’m hoping he can continue to progress.
“It will have done him the world of good finally getting his head in front over hurdles at Doncaster three weeks ago, and he is back in good form after bruising a foot last week which caused him to miss a couple of days.”
Wynn House only has three opponents when she reappears on the Berkshire course, and Alan added:”A wind operation seems to have helped Wynn House, who last ran at Wincanton on Boxing Day when she found the ground too soft. She had earlier made a pleasing debut over fences at Huntingdon.
“Mares Day at Cheltenham next month is her prime target, but she needs a race beforehand and this novice chase seems the right one, though I hope we don’t get any more rain.”
We also have Future Investment running on day one at Newbury. Alan said:”He did not enjoy going right-handed at Taunton last time, but should be better this time around.”
Alan got a great kick about having the first and third in last week’s Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter, and he thinks he again has a squeak of landing the feature (BetVictor Handicap Chase) at Newbury on Saturday with Messire des Obeaux,
Assessing his prospects, Alan said:”Messire des Obeaux missed Kempton last week as he had not fully recovered from a bruised foot, but I hope he will come forward from his success at Warwick in February.
“I watched from Newbury that day and it was a really special victory after all Messire des Obeaux has been through. I was happy two out as it looked like he might be placed, but then he stayed on so strongly that he got up close home to win. That showed that the engine is clearly still there, and, while he might not be quite the force he was, he is still running to a pretty high level.”
Looking at our other Newbury runners for Saturday, Alan added:”The EBF Mares Novices’ Hurdle looks competitive, but I’m hoping that Passionate Pursuit will run well. She was unlucky not to win at Wincanton on Boxing Day, when she unseated Tom Cannon at the second last. She then bumped into a good mare of Dan Skelton’s at Market Rasen, so off a mark of 109 she is far from out of it here.”
Alan has won the £100,000 Goffs Spring Sale Bumper a couple of times and always targets the race. He has three representatives this year and, though all are making their racecourse debut, Alan is looking forward to getting them launched.
He said:”They are ready to start, but all three will improve on whatever they achieve here. Menaggio has been working well and this has always been his aim, I’m A Lumberjack has been doing everything right on the gallops and is by Jack Hobbs, who could have a big future as a jumping stallion, and, though Girls In Skirts is the most backward of the trio, she has to start somewhere and owner Charles Dingwall is happy to give it a go.”
We also have a couple of runners at Lingfield, and Alan hopes that first time cheekpieces might help Wurlitzer in the mile and a half handicap. He won in a visor at Wolverhampton in December, and, though he has been running well, Alan thinks a return to headgear might bring about a bit of improvement.
Our other runner on the polytrack is Hourless, who had two runs on Grade 1 tracks last July but will hopefully improve for a winter off, a drop in class and having been gelded.