Hard to hide my excitement over Christmas Racing at Kempton, Chepstow, two days at Limerick and FOUR days at Leopardstown!!
I’ve just seen the Irish cards and I need to remind everyone that the top horses going to the Cheltenham Festival ideally have a three run preparation programme especially those in the care of the Bank of Mullins. So had their first run in the last two weeks of November, Christmas/New Year is the second and the third is last week Jan./first week of Feb. So in the ten days after Christmas expect to see;- Vautour, Don Cossack, Djakadam, Don Poli, Sir des Champs, Cue Card, Smad Place, Road to Riches (that is just the King George & the Lexus!!), Faugheen, Nicholls Canyon, Arctic Fire, Identity Thief, The New One, Sprinter Sacre, Sire de Grugy, Douvan, No More Heroes, Martello Tower, Vaniteux, Ar Mad and I haven’t even got to the novice hurdlers, juveniles and the boats in the Welsh National!!!
I’m excited just typing that list!!
My role in all this is two-fold. Firstly to keep you all up to date with the #startracking runners and their chances of success and secondly to find some tasty #startracking Ante Post prices.
The Saturday and Sunday runners will be up Weds.6pm at best, 6pm Thursday at worst, with an update Saturday morning at 10am!! The early selections for Sunday’s Welsh National and the Paddy Power Chase will be up by 11am, tomorrow, Tuesday morning.
Tonights Homework?? Who is Willie Mullins going to run in the World Hurdle at the Festival? Any news Mr Ricci?
Here’s what Harry Fry put on his website after Saturdays thrilling Ladbroke Hurdle.
“20-December-2015by Harry Christmas came early for everyone involved with the yard on Saturday when Jolly’s Cracked It gave us our biggest success in the Ladbroke at Ascot since I started training just over three year ago. In the most dramatic finish Jolly’s Cracked It and the long time leader Sternrubin flashed past the post locked together. Half-way up the run in Jolly’s Cracked It looked sure to win as he edged into the lead by half a length and two strides before the line he was still ahead. But a stride after the line Sternrubin was back in front. Noel Fehily feared he had just been caught on our horse while I wasn’t sure. The long wait for the result to be announced was torture. Several minutes seemed to pass before the judge called a dead heat. In the circumstances I was happy to share the prize and I think Sternrubin’s trainer Philip Hobbs felt the same, too. Given the excellent course form of Jolly’s Cracked It last season the Ladbroke had been his sole aim in the first part of this campaign. It helped that he jumped brilliantly and was given a superb ride by Noel who saved ground by hugging the inner the whole way on his way to claiming a dead heat.”
Two more to go in your TRACKERS. Both bumper winners, both with big futures. Hopefully in your tracker for the next 5/6 years!
DRUMCLIFF (Harry Fry) Bred by Simon Tindall this 4yo son of Presenting, a half-brother to Simonsig no less, cost JP McManus 60K euros and he has sent him to Harry Fry. Heavily backed in a 2m C4 bumper at Taunton he sauntered home by 5L. 2L & 8L despite “distinctly” running green. Fair to say young Mr Fry is becoming the master of understatement when he put on his website, “Drumcliff completed a good day for the yard with a comfortable success in the bumper that offered bags of promise for the future. A half-brother to the brilliant Simonsig, he is a lovely prospect and I am grateful to JP McManus for sending him to me this season. It was good to see Drumcliff make a winning start to his racecourse career. He tracked the leaders for more than a circuit before stretching ahead in the straight despite running green. I’d like to think there will be plenty more to come from him as he gains experience.” Drumcliff is 20/1 for the Champion Bumper at the Festival with Bet365 and Stan James, the only two companies to price him up.
NO COMMENT (Philip Hobbs) Like Drumcliff this 4yo gelded son of Kayf Tara is owned by JP McManus but in the hands of Philip Hobbs. He was a keeping on second behind Nicky Henderson’s Rather Be in a Ludlow C4 Junior bumper over 1m 6f but there was 19L back to the third horse. The JP horse is closely related to Aran Concerto who won three Grade 1’s including the Deloitte Novice Hurdle and the Powers Gold Cup over fences and was probably at his best over two and a half miles on decent ground. Let’s hope No Comment turns out to be as good!