WE were on cloud nine at Ayr earlier this week with a double - so hopefully PLANET NINE (2.17) will keep our good run going later today.
A solid horse, he ran in this race last season off the same mark, finishing second. That was his seasonal comeback that day so we were pleased enough and I’d like to think we’ll get another good tune out of him this afternoon.
We know he likes the track and while he will come on for the run - like he did last year with improved efforts afterwards - we expect him to go well. The heavy ground won’t be a hindrance as he’s won on it before at Newcastle.
On Sunday at Carlisle LE CHEVAL NOIR (1.05) goes in the opening novice hurdle. After winning his bumper last year he ran two races full of promise at Wetherby, finishing fifth behind a nice horse of Harry Whittington’s. A couple in behind us that day have gone on to win, while his next race has also thrown up a subsequent winner. He could easily run a big race this weekend.
RATH AN IUIR (1.35) will make his chase debut in the novice handicap next. Two and a half miles will be sharp enough for him, but Carlisle’s stiff track and the ground will hopefully be a counterbalance to that. He ran some good races last season, winning once, and is a horse we like a lot at home.
Here he is near side popping a few schooling fences on Friday.
CHOSEN FLAME (2.05) is next in the 2-mile one furlong handicap hurdle. A winner at Perth back in August, he’s run two solid races since and while his recent form is all on good ground, he’s been placed on heavy before so we’ve decided to have a go. If you don’t try you won’t know - and given the way the horses are running, we’re in the mood to have a go!
We should have added another winner to the seasonal tally at Wetherby on Friday with SOME REIGN but he came down at the last with the race in his hands. While it’s gutting to see that happen, the main thing was first that both Conor O’Farrell and the horse were up and okay straight away.
And looking to the future, he behaved himself before the race and until the last jumped superbly, so he’s looking back to himself again. Hopefully he’s matured mentally enough now to show us that he’s the talented horse we know him to be and one who can take us to some nice races later in the season.