Racing can be like a game of Snakes and Ladders

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Thursday April 13

Alan’s philosophy has always been to enjoy the good days as in a trainer’s life they are invariably outnumbered by the disappointments, and in many ways racing is like a game of Snakes and Ladders.

Having only just put the headache tablets away after the Yanworth celebrations, we received a severe kick in the teeth with news that Messire des Obeaux, third in both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals, having won the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury, would miss all next season with a damaged tendon.

“It’s a real blow but we have always said chasing would be his game eventually, so, hopefully, he’ll be back as good as new for the 2018-19 season,” said Alan, who received a timely pick-me-up when Dingo Dollar clocked up the stable’s 100th winner of the current campaign at Fontwell yesterday, the first time we have managed the ton for eight years.

And Alan will be switching codes tomorrow when First Mohican has another crack at the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon at Lingfield, a race in which he finished fourth 12 months ago.

Alan said:”First Mohican won over the course and distance three weeks and has, in fact, never been out of the frame in four visits to Lingfield.

“Kristyna Nedbalova, who rides him out every day, keeps him sweet, and First Mohican has never been in better form, producing a career best performance last time, which is pretty impressive for a nine-year-old.

“Add to that the old boy has struck up a good relationship with Hollie Doyle, who is aboard again, and we’ll go there hopeful we can finish in the money again.”

We also have Ardamir carrying topweight in the staying handicap at Bath tomorrow, and Alan said:”He is an unlucky horse and he got stopped in his run yet again at Wolverhampton last Saturday and then flew up the straight to be beaten only a head and a nose. He goes to the sales in May and I’d love to win a race with him before then.