No Paradias, but it seems Game Spirit fancy Edwardstone will run at Newbury on Saturday

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February 9

So torrential has the rain been this week  – I look out of my bedroom window at the four-furlong pole on Newbury racecourse and they have soaked up more than 42mm of the wet stuff since Tuesday – that the only time I have stepped outside was to take my seat in the Freelance Four team at the annual racing quiz held in the Owners & Trainers bar last night.

Space prevents me from giving you the full result, suffice to say that for the first time we missed the frame, but at least I was able to see first-hand close-up how wet underfoot conditions were out on the track.

Happily, apart from a shower or two, the local forecast for the rest of the week-end is remarkably favourable, with even Sonny Sunshine expected to make a rare appearance, though inevitably the word ‘heavy’ will almost certainly remain in the official going description, maybe “sticky toffee pudding” might be a more apt description.

Alan has already taken out Paradias from the opening novice hurdle at our local course , but it seems certain that stable-star Edwardstone will take his chance in the Grade 2 Game Spirit Chase.

Edwardstone is favourite to beat his four opponents, and Alan explained:”I’ll have to run him as we need to know where we stand with him after his disappointing run at Kempton.

“Clearly, stepping him up to two and a half miles did not work, and he had previously run two decent races this season over two miles. He has done plenty on the gallops since that last run, and now I’ve said enough and it is down to him to do the talking.”

Though Selwan‘s form so far leaves much to be desired, Alan has left him in the opener but admits that the horse is proving something of an enigma.

Scratching his head, Alan said:”If we could get Selwan to reproduce his home work he’d be an exciting prospect. He looks a serious horse in the mornings, but when we run him he comes there cantering and then stops. We have found nothing wrong with him, and he’s done plenty of hard work since his last run.”

Alan seems more optimistic about Emitom in the three-mile hurdle. He said:”Emitom is in good form and goes well at Newbury, so I’d like to think that he’d again be competitive. He bumped into a good horse in Saint Davy at Ludlow last time, being only narrowly beaten. The winner followed up off a higher mark in a £100,000 race at Sandown last Saturday, so the form looks useful.”

Finally, we run I’m A Lumberjack in the bumper, and, while Alan accepts that he has a stiff task in this Listed race, he did run well at Ascot against similar company, so we are hopeful  that he’ll make his presence felt.