Spartan Army attempts to bounce back at Kempton

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February 24

Alan has not lost faith in Spartan Army, who will attempt to give him a sixth success in the Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.

Spartan Army, bought out of Aidan O’Brien’s yard for 170,000gns, is likely to start at double-figure odds, having run below-par in his two runs since making a winning debut for us at Wetherby in November.

However, Alan still believes in Spartan Army. He said: “Judged on his work at home in the mornings, he looks a good horse and I hope he might prove it on the track at Kempton.

“I probably over-faced him in his first run after Wetherby when pitching him in the Finale Junior Hurdle at Chepstow, where he never got into a rhythm.

“I did think he’d win at Wincanton last time and was disappointed he was beaten by Celtic Art, but that might be doing an injustice to the winner, who could be better than his rating.

“In hindsight, I might have been too easy on Spartan Army before Wincanton, but I have since got plenty of work into him, so, hopefully, we might see a difference.”

Alan also has a high opinion of Dancing In Brazil, who runs in the bumper on the Sunbury course.

He added:”Dancing In Brazil won well at Huntingdon and then finished a good third in the Listed race for four-year-olds at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

“He’s enjoyed a little break since and I hope he’ll run well enough to warrant a crack at the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.”

The Olympian has his first run for 627 days in the opening maiden hurdle at Chepstow. He was a decent Flat horse back in 2018, and, while he’ll improve on whatever he does here, following such a long absence, Alan is looking forward to seeing him back in action, with any rain being very welcome.

Finally, we have Bit Harsh going for a four-timer on the Flat at Chelmsford. He has won his last three races and has been the star of our Flat team through the winter, and, though he has gone up 11lb since starting his winning spree, he won well at Wolverhampton last time and is already twice a winner at Chelmsford.