WE were thrilled with Fete Champetre’s gutsy win at Musselburgh yesterday - and a touch relieved as well. As I said in yesterday’s blog, a few of ours have disappointed lately and we were starting to wonder if something was amiss, but he bounced around and showed a great attitude to finish his race off strongly and win. Phew!
It’s off to Catterick today with three runners, although two of those will run in the same race as we go in search of better ground. It’s good to soft there at the moment, which will be a plus for OKOVANGO DELTA (1.30) whose best runs have come on a sounder surface. He found two miles around Musselburgh far too sharp on his comeback run last month so we expect him to be more comfortable here.
He’s a horse we have always liked and who has crept back down in the handicap, with a 4lbs drop allowing him into this 0-100 race. He’s previously won over this trip so the step back up in distance will help. Hopefully he’ll find things in his favour today and with the ease in grade he can improve on last time. Henry Brooke, who rode him at Musselburgh, will continue their partnership.
Okko unimpressed by the recent weather
LIMERICK LEADER (1.30) will oppose him and while we don’t like running them against each other, the ground is the deciding factor here. He needs it with as much good as possible in it, so options have been limited lately. Hiked up in the handicap after finishing second at Newcastle in May he will benefit from the 4lbs drop since his run here last month. Still only six, this will be his fifth chase and hopefully the benefits of that experience will start to show soon.
CAILIN DEARG (2.30) made her comeback at Sedgefield after 18 months off last month, running well for a long way before finishing tired and drifting back through the field. That was to be expected and Craig looked after her, allowing her to finish in her own time. She has sharpened up for that run so will hopefully improve in today’s race. A Sedgefield specialist she has to prove she can do it away from County Durham, but hopefully Catterick’s undulations, twists and turns will suit her fine.
Cailin surveying a snowy scene recently