December 22, 2017
You could see the relief on Alan’s face at first lot at Barbury on Thursday morning after our double the previous day – Dingo Dollar at Newbury and Harambe at Ludlow – and with Lisp having kicked off the week in style at Plumpton on Monday, maybe the tide has turned back our way.”
“I needed that as, while the horses have been running well, we have been rattling the crossbar a few times too many for my liking and Lady Luck has not been with us, so it was good to see us back in the winner’s enclosure going into the Christmas period,” said Alan, who feels that the recent stop-start weather patterns have not helped us.
We look to be in for a busy time of things at Kempton’s big meeting next week, but, hopefully, we first have the perfect hors d’oeuvres in Elgin, who chases his third valuable prize of the winter in the Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.
Alan said:”It’s fair to say that Elgin has surprised me, and I hope he continues to do so. He has manned up a lot this season and battled all the way up the run-in to win at Ascot in early December, and he then dispelled my fears that the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham might come too soon with another marvellous success.
“I have never looked upon Elgin as a soft ground horse and I feel that he won despite the conditions at Cheltenham rather than because of them, and Wayne (Hutchinson) was brilliant in giving up the outside to to no-one in an attempt to get what decent ground there was.
“Obviously, the handicapper has reacted and those two victories have seen Elgin go up 11lb, but on better ground who knows how high he can climb, and he has had a break since the Greatwood and worked very well last week, so he goes there in super form.”
Our only other Ascot runner is Forgetthesmalltalk in the three-mile handicap hurdle, and Alan added:”He has twice been placed at Exeter this season and should appreciate this stamina test.”