Captain Quint and Robert
CAPTAIN QUINT (12.30) is our only runner at Newcastle this weekend at their high-profile Fighting Fifth meeting. The original plan had been to go to Ayr on Tuesday but we noticed there were not too many entries for this race so switched targets. It’s a slightly lower grade so it felt worth a go. He will be up against some pretty hardened, experienced chasers but we’re sure he’ll cope with that no problem.
He came out of the race at Hexham very well, we were thrilled with the way he ran. We love this horse, he’s a really nice type for the long-term. He only had two hurdles runs and the size of him just screams staying chaser. He’s still raw and a bit of a baby so this season is really all about developing him and it’s next year we’ll really see what he’s capable of. Craig Nichol has said all along that we’ll see the best of him in 12 months’ time.
The Hexham race was only over two miles so we’re stepping up further today and eventually he’ll be going three. He could really do with more rain, he’s by Flemensfirth so would like it a bit softer but Newcastle have been watering and I’m sure they’ll get plenty into it.
Rathy and Emma
RATH AN IUIR (3.00) will go to Carlisle on Sunday for a handicap chase and it’s really about a recovery mission for him. We had been hanging onto the hope of running him in the Borders’ National at Kelso next weekend but he didn’t fire in his first run back at the end of October so we’ve decided to scrap that idea.
This race will be competitive but not as testing as the Kelso one, so hopefully he can run well and get a confidence booster from it. He ran well a couple of times last season after his layoff but we were disappointed with the last one, especially as it was the first time he’s had his ground for a long time.
We know he likes Carlisle and everything seems great with him at home so hopefully with that run under his belt he can take a step forward again. The handicapper has given him a real chance with a mark of 117, which is eighteen pounds below what he was rated when he came back from his injury. Fingers-crossed he’ll show us something this weekend and if he clicks then he could be dangerous. But it is a step into the unknown at the moment, really.