Thursday November 30

Two exciting days in prospect at Newbury, and all eyes will be on Yanworth tomorrow when he attempts to put that hiccup at Exeter behind him in the Grade 2 novice chase and make St Andrews day a happy one for Alan, as proud a Scotsman as you could find.

Alan is not too impressed by the suggestion from certain sections of the media that Yanworth might be switched back hurdling after what was simply an unfortunate experience at Haldon.

He said:”I do get annoyed when I read such nonsense. It’s not as if Yanworth jumped clumsily – he just landed a bit steeply and it was a typical novice’s fall.

“He schooled last week over nine fences and it was clear that the fall hadn’t worried him one iota, but it will be good to get some more match practice into him.”

Assessing our other Friday runners, Alan added:”Now that the ground has started to dry up Dusky Legend runs in the Fulke Walwyn Trophy.  She ran a blinder in a Listed race at Bangor, where she jumped super and was unlucky to just pitch on landing over the last. She does not like winter ground, so it will be good to squeeze another race in before she has her break.

“We run Beneagles in the closing handicap hurdle. He did not enjoy schooling over fences at home and that showed as he was a little deliberate early on back over hurdles at Newbury. He’ll have come on for that first run and ought to be sharper this time.

Second Time Around gets us started at Newbury in the maiden hurdle. He ran a strange race at Sandown last time as he had to be dropped in to get him to settle and the favourite got away from us. He’ll improve on that, both in terms of fitness and experience.”

We also have a couple going up to Doncaster tomorrow. Alan said:”Town Moor dries well and that will suit Talkischeap, who won twice over hurdles last spring but is still a novice so is eligible for the opener. He’s ready to start back.

Peggies Venture runs in the handicap hurdle up there. She was put up 6lb for running second at Taunton (giving two stone to the winner), which did not amuse me, but she is consistent and will enjoy the drying ground, too.”