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WE head to Carlisle today with two horses hoping for better fortune than we had yesterday.

PLANET NINE (2.20) lines up in the 3m1f handicap against five other rivals. He’s top weight in this, which won’t be easy for such a little horse, but he’s high in the handicap for a reason and we were pleased with his return at Ayr last month.

He hasn’t won for over two years and hasn’t been the easiest to keep sound at home, but there’s no doubt he’s got decent ability. I ride him out most days so nobody would be more pleased than me if he can win again.

Our second runner will be RATH AN IUIR (2.50) and you’d like to think that three miles round here will be perfect for him after his exciting chase debut a few weeks back. He’s been in great form at home, he’s got the experience of last time under his belt so we’re hoping there’s still more to come from him and, fingers crossed, he can win again.

It was a bit of an up and down day for us yesterday, with Do Not Disturb running well at Newcastle before slipping up at the last. He got a bit outpaced in the middle of the race but was staying on strongly and while I don’t think we would have got to the front-running winner, he didn’t deserve that. It was great to see him run a big race otherwise and both he and Craig Nichol were fine, so we’ll try to find another good opportunity for him.

Le Cheval Noir also ran a creditable race in the French Furze. We did fear he would need softer ground and so it proved as he got a bit tapped for toe up the home straight, but finishing within ten lengths of good horses in conditions that didn’t suit him gives us plenty of encouragement. He’s got a touch of class and will run on softer ground next time out.

As for Geordielandgangsta, where do we start? It was just terrible, we put the headgear on him hoping it would spark him up but he just didn’t want to be there. Lorcan Murtagh had to get after him pretty much the whole way round, which was hugely disappointing because he’s a gorgeous big horse who showed decent potential last season. It’s back to the drawing board with him.


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