WE'VE got horseboxes heading in different directions on Saturday. There doesn't look to be any issues up at Ayr, where they've got plenty of runners for an eight-race card on ground much better than in many other corners of the country just now.
Understandably on what he's shown in 2023, GET WITH IT (1.07) is the outsider of this 12-runner field. After a good 2022, in which he won at both Perth and Kelso, this year just hasn't seen him in good form at all. We've given him an intended break since his last run at Perth in August, but things haven't gone entirely as intended as he had a fall schooling and that set us back a bit with him.
We're putting a visor on him today, which seems an odd thing to do with a horse who used to wear a hood because he was so keen, but he just wasn't attacking his fences on his last couple of runs. Hopefully it will perk him up a bit and help his focus with his jumping. Here he is leading a recent schooling session at home. Two-and-a-half miles is on the short side for him nowadays, but Ayr is a big, galloping track which will suit and he seems in good order at home. I just hope he runs better than his odds of 33-1 suggest.
On the other hand, I'm a bit put out by the fact SLANELOUGH (2.15) is also priced up the outsider in his race. For some reason the bookies have gone off him. And the Racing Post has been really cheeky about him on his last couple of runs too! I actually thought he ran really well first time out this season over less than two miles at Wetherby. In fact, we were really chuffed with that comeback run.
Seventeen days is a shorter turnaround than ideal, but it's the only way I could work it as I'm keen to get him back up to 2m4f again. The race is a bit more competitive than I'd hoped for too, with the likes of Dubai Days and Famous Bridge also running here, but I think Slaney's got a decent chance of running into the money.
This is him (far right) preparing to jump a few fences at home.
Our final runner of the day is RATH AN IUIR (4.08) at Wetherby, where their big Charlie Hall Chase day has passed its morning inspection. Three miles on a flat track is probably not going to draw out his stamina enough, but the ground will be very soft and that will be right up his street. He wants even more of a test - I've also got him in over 3m2f at Carlisle on Sunday - but the Wetherby race cut up a bit more than I expected and Sunday's race looks competitive, hence why we're heading down the A1.
He's in good order, but I think there'll be more suitable races for him in the coming weeks. He could go for the Borders National on December 10, but there's also a four-miler at Hexham and a 3m5f handicap chase at Newcastle. This will be Ciaran O'Shea's first ride for us. He takes off 7lb, which is handy as we're joint-top-weight here. Hopefully he runs a nice first race of the season and gives us something to build on with those other races in mind.