Two interesting jumping recruits at Wetherby on Wednesday

 In Latest News

November 2

Alan might well head off to Wetherby on Wednesday, as he has two interesting recruits from the Flat making their jumping debut, both part-owned by his good friend Max McNeill.

Spartan Army is a four-year-old, who has joined the Barbury team from Joseph O’Brien. He only raced three times on the Flat but won at Down Royal in June, and he is a big horse who relishes getting his toe in, so he never showed his true potential for Joseph, with Ireland, like the UK, experiencing their driest summer for years.

Alan said:”We bought Spartan Army in August (Max shares him with Patrick&scott Bryceland) and we had him gelded straight away with a view to hurdling. He has schooled extremely well and was very progressive on the Flat, so we are looking forward to getting him started.”

Wetherby is a track which should suit Spartan Army, who was never going to be at his best around Down Royal. With the trip that day being only an extended mile and a quarter, Spartan Army, who has plenty of stamina in his pedigree, was sensibly ridden from the front and he showed plenty of tenacity to beat off his challengers from the two-furlong pole.

Whereas Spartan Army is rated 86 on the Flat, Dickens, who Max owns in partnership with Niall Farrell, has a mark of 77, being more exposed on the level, having raced 11 times and won at Wolverhampton and Nottingham.

Alan said:”After Chelmsford in June, Dickens had an early holiday as the ground became too firm for him, and he has thrived for a proper break. He, too, has schooled well and easier underfoot conditions will suit him.”