We are ‘here, there and everywhere’ on Friday
Both our Newton Abbot runners did us proud on Wednesday, with Greystoke winning in style and Sweet Moon showing plenty of promise on her first run for us in the mares hurdle, and Grisbi de Berce, who caught the eye with a smashing run in the Imperial Cup at Sandown in May, is interesting at Huntingdon today, when he tackles fences for the first time.
It looks like being a frantic Friday, with six runners being spread around the country, four heading off to Market Rasen, plus one apiece at Chester, Ascot and Nottingham.
Paradias, who finished fourth in the prestigious Haynes, Hanson and Clark Stakes at Newbury last September, got stuck in the mud at Haydock on his final run last year but he will encounter contrastingly different ground when he reappears at Ascot.
He is one of a fistful of lightly-raced three-year-olds that Alan speaks highly of and, making his handicap debut on the Royal Heath, Paradias, who is bound to improve for this first run back, has the in-form Rossa Ryan aboard.
Like Grisbi de Berce, Royal Pretender, twice successful over hurdles and placed in all his fourth subsequent races, switches to fences for the first time at Market Rasen, but Jay Bee Why has taken the reverse trip and seems much happier back over the smaller obstacles. He is also in action at Market Rasen.
Methusalar also makes the journey East. He made a pleasing reappearance after his winter break to finish third at Chepstow last month and should be sharper this time, while the Lincolnshire raid is completed by Egbert in the bumper. He is related to eight winners and made a promising start at Hereford last month.
At Chester we run Haseefah, who will doubtless appreciate being back on the Flat. Alan admits that he was embarrassed the way she blundered at virtually every hurdle at Kelso until eventually falling in the last.
Finally, Dal Mallart, unplaced in three runs so far, runs in her first handicap at Nottingham. It’s also her first race on turf and a big jump up in distance, so we’ll hopefully be much wiser after this.
We have just the three runners on Saturday. Kalma, who struck form on the Flat in the first half of 2021, lost her way somewhat after that, both on the level and over hurdles. However, she bounced back to form at Exeter last month and is clearly a filly who enjoys fast ground, so we hope she’ll run well at Ascot.
Midnight Glance won over hurdles at Market Rasen last month and switches to chasing at Hexham, where his chance would be obvious if he takes to the fences, while Rampoldi Plan, who runs at Nottingham, was heavily backed on his first run after being gelded at Southwell. It was a run best ignored as his saddle slipped early on, so we can expect an improved performance here.