More of our ‘babies’ are strutting our stuff over the next few days
Earlier in the year we bid farewell to The Glancing Queen, Her Indoors, Nina the Terrier and, of course, the popular veteran Messire des Obeaux, but we have plenty of youngsters waiting in the wings to fill their void, and, besides the recent successes we have enjoyed in that department, we still have more promising types to be launched, the next being Rockola in the fillies junior bumper at Stratford today.
A daughter of Jukebox Jury, sire of Tony Mullins’s wonderful eight-times winner Princess Zoe, Rockola is a half-sister to Au Fleuron, who was a decent hurdler for Gordon Elliott, so her debut is awaited with interest and, significantly, she has been well backed.
Alan hopes to have three runners at Wetherby this week-end, though another 9mm of rain overnight means that the Yorkshire track has experienced more than 32mm since last Saturday, so an inspection might well have to be called. Should they race it looks as if the ground will be heavy.
If Wetherby do get the green light for Friday, we have Royal Deesside making his debut in the Listed Juvenile Hurdle. He has been showing promise on the Flat and ran his best race so far when runner-up at Salisbury last month.
Hey Brother is also scheduled to make his debut in the novice hurdle at Wetherby on Saturday. He was only beaten half a length on his debut in an Irish point-to-point last winter, being beaten by Rockwiththethetimes, who is also now with us.
Having shown plenty of promise in his first bumper over this course in March, Hey Brother built on that the following month when finishing fourth in another one at Huntingdon. He now steps up in trip for his first run over timber, and, weather permitting, we are looking forward to getting him started.
Also at Wetherby on Saturday we have Ernest Gray having his first run over fences in the three-mile handicap chase. It took time to get Ernest Gray to settle last year, but he switched off much better when breaking the ice over hurdles at Doncaster in March.
He then ran poorly at Newbury but he was staying on well in third on his final run at Huntingdon, and Alan has always thought that he would make a chaser. He was a useful bumper, winning one at Warwick.