Two Past Eight is interesting back on the all-weather at Lingfield on Saturday

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January 18

The forecast thaw might come too late to save this week-end’s meetings at Ascot, Market Rasen and Taunton, where we had a fistful of entries, though Lingfield’s all-weather Flat fixture should survive, and it will be interesting to see how Two Past Eight shapes in the two-mile handicap there on Saturday.

Though twice a winner over hurdles, Two Past Eight seems equally effective on the artificial surface, having been placed in both races he has run on the all-weather.

He was unlucky to be mugged on the line, having looked all over the winner up the straight at Kempton in August, and he ran just as well when sticking on for the bronze medal at Wolverhampton in November. Back on the all-weather after finishing down the field in a handicap hurdle at Doncaster before Christmas, Two Past Eight should be thereabouts, with Rossa Ryan again in the saddle.

Alan is never one to make excuses when one of his horses is beaten fair and square, and it was no different with Edwardstone, who flopped when trying two and a half miles for the first time over fences in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton last week-end.

Reflecting on the performance, Alan said:”Last Saturday was very disappointing, but Edwardstone is better than that. He did pull rather hard in what was a slower-run race than it would have been over two miles, but he was beaten too far out for my liking, We are trying a few tests to see if we can find a reason for that.”

Even more disappointing was Major Dundee in the Classic Chase at Warwick. Alan added:”He is simply not firing at present and I am beginning to wonder if the tough race he had to win the Midlands National at Uttoxeter last March has left its mark mentally.”

Should Ascot be another victim of the freezing weather, Palio could be switched to Warwick on Monday as temperatures are expected to be in double-figures all next week.

Alan said:”Palio could never cope with the heavy ground at Aintree last month, and I hope he can build on the promise of his second to Triumph Hurdle favourite Burdett Road at Hu in the juvenile hurdle.”