We have two interesting runners at Chester on Saturday
Five runners at four different meetings provides plenty of interest in this Saturday’s Barbury raid, and Alan’s team have been running consistently well, with three winners already this week, maybe four if Lunar Shadow, who was not suited by a sedate pate at Wolverhampton ast time, gets back on track at Chelmsford tonight.
Denburn, who comes from the same family as that smart chaser Madison du Berlais, was impressive when making a winning debut in the Market Rasen bumper under Gavin Sheehan, who duly followed up 24 days later on stablemate Madiba Passion in the novices handicap chase at Huntingdon.
The dual point-to-point winner was breaking his duck under Rules, but he seemed to relish the aggressive riding tactics and the success will have done the horse’s confidence the power of good.
And on Wednesday evening, Mount Olympus, racing for the first time for Barbury, having been transferred from Eve Johnson Houghton’ stable, came good at the first time of asking in the popular Henry Ponsonby silks.
One of Saturday’s quintet who is particularly interesting is the French recruit Selwan, bought by Jerry McGrath for 75 grand at Deauville Sales last November.
Selwan, who is a four-year-old, won twice on turf and once on the all-weather in his homeland, joining Alan in January. His last appearance was a winning one at Deauville, but he also ran very respectably in G2 company at Longchamp a year ago, so he has a touch of class about him. He takes on the Gosden hotpot Courage Mon Ami in the mile and six handicap at Goodwood.
If Selwan does as well as Haseefah, another who arrived here from Gallic shores, Alan will have no complaints, and, ironically, Haseefah will be accompanying Selwan down to the Sussex Downs as she attempts to win the mile and a half fillies handicap for the second year running on a mark only 3lb higher than she was 12 months ago. Haseefah ought to be sharper for her reappearance at Epsom, her first run for six months.
So easy did Greystoke win at Chester’s big meeting earlier this month that a 5lb rise in the handicap was no surprise, and with the talented Gosden apprentice Benoit de la Sayette, who gave him such a confidence ride last time, again in the saddle, the pair head back up to Chester with a solid chance,
Thunder Ahead returns to the Flat at Haydock, where he will be ridden by Hollie Doyle, while over jumps we have the loveable veteran Fidux, who has already picked up silver medals at Doncaster and Fakenham this year, off to Cartmel for the staying handicap chase.
Finally, with no sign on the horizon of our belated summer weather coming to an abrupt end, the Trueshan team are no doubt walking their box as the Ascot Gold Cup is four weeks today. There is rain up there somewhere, but we need a wet June for Trueshan to show up at the Royal meeting,