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DOWN to two runners at Catterick this afternoon after deciding to withdraw a couple because of the ground. So RATH AN IUIR (12.50) will kick us off and I have to admit he’s someone I’d never considered running here before, but the fact it’s a small-field veterans’ chase and soft ground we’ve thought we’ll give it a go. As we know, he’s one who wants it bottomless so the more rain they've had there the better! 

We ran him in a visor at Kelso last time and that worked well with him winning, so we’ve kept it on today. He will need to travel well around there because of the kind of track it is, but hopefully the visor will do the trick again. There are only six runners and with Cieran O’Shea claiming seven off him, that will negate the 3lbs rise he got from the handicapper. It will all be down to how he travels around such a sharp track, to be honest, but with all the other conditions right it’s worth having a crack at it. 

IWA popping over some obstacles

IWA (2.25) makes his stable debut for us after arriving here over a year ago. He’d been busy as a three and four-year-old in France, and hasn’t been the soundest, so we felt it best to give him time to fill out and grow into himself. He was turned away in the field for a while and the plan was to run him last autumn but we hit a bit of a problem with him tying up. That's hopefully resolved now and we're eager to get going.

He’s still a novice over hurdles despite having won a chase before so that opens up other options after today. He’s a really nice type and while I’m not totally sure he’s one hundred percent this afternoon in a race which seems quite competitive, we’re just looking forward to getting him to the track at last and get him racing. The soft ground will be fine for him and hopefully we will see an encouraging run for the future.


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