We’ve got a busy weekend with six runners on Saturday spread across three tracks.
There’s a strong team going to Ascot starting with Doctor Dex in the novices’ handicap chase.
He won twice over hurdles last season and we’re hopeful he’ll do well switched to fences. This looks like a nice starting point for him at a track he should like.
Clondaw Castle makes his seasonal debut in the Byrne Group Handicap Chase. He took well to fences last season, winning twice before running a really good race when fourth in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival. We’re looking forward to another good season with him.
There’s plenty of runners in the Sodexo Gold Cup and Double Shuffle takes his chance. He’s been great for us and his owners the Crossed Fingers Partnership. It’s not even a couple of years since he was runner-up behind Might Bite in the King George and his rating dictates that he has to run in some of the top races. This is a competitive contest but he certainly deserves his place in the field.
Johnny Burke rides all three of our Ascot runners.
The Worlds End goes up to Wetherby for the West Yorkshire Hurdle. It didn’t happen for him last season over fences for one reason or another after he won at Cheltenham in December. He’s back in great form now and he’s got smart hurdles form so it will be interesting to see how he gets on. The McNeill Family’s retained jockey Adrian Heskin rides him.
We go up to Scotland with two runners at Ayr.
Fanfan Du Seuil runs in the Scottish Champion Hurdle Trial. We decided to pull him out of a race at Cheltenham last weekend when the ground went against him. It shouldn’t be as bad at Ayr and this looks a nice prize. He showed a high level of form throughout last season. Having won at Exeter and been a little unlucky at Cheltenham we ran him in the Fred Winter at the Festival. We were pleased with his fifth place and he should do even better this season.
Boagrius goes up to Ayr as well. There’s only six runners in his race and this looks a good opportunity for him if the ground doesn’t go too soft. His owners, The MerseyClyde Partnership, had a nice win with Copper West in £50,000 race at Market Rasen a couple of weeks ago and we’re hopeful Boagrius can give them so more fun after his wins at Leicester and Taunton last season.
Ciaran Gethings rides both of our Ayr runners.