FIRST of all, a very Merry Christmas to everyone who takes the time to read our blogs. If you’re reading it today - have a great day. If it’s reaching you on Boxing Day, we hope you had an enjoyable one and are in good shape for the racing!
Work continues on the yard as normal over Christmas and we have to thank the staff for their efforts. They are a great team and it’s the hard graft they put in day after day which allows us to get the horses in such good condition and to the track.
As you can see from this morning’s picture, we train in stunning surroundings here at Hazelrigg!
As always, this time of year is packed with great racing and we’ll take six to Wetherby over the two days they’ve got coming up.
EAGLE DE GUYE and VINTAGE GLEN (12.20) oppose each other again in the 3m novices’ handicap chase. They squared off over a shorter trip at the start of the month so both are stepping up in distance here.
They finished third and fourth last time, the handicapper has eased the pair of them a little bit so we’re hoping they both take a step forward again here.
TROOPER TURNBULL (3.13) won well last time out at Kelso and we had entered him back there next week in another novice race, but with a rating of 116 we thought he’d have a better chance of winning in a handicap.
He is in great order at home, he’s come out of his Kelso race a few weeks ago really well. As regular readers will know, we’ve always liked him so we’re hoping for a big run here.
On Sunday SOME REIGN (1.35) will take his place in the Castleford Chase. This has been the aim for him for a while and the way he’s run so far this season means he definitely deserves to take his chance. It’s a very competitive race as always, but he’s entitled to have a go at one like this.
It’s forecast for rain there on Saturday but we’re hoping they don’t get too much. He’s going well at home so we’ll have a crack at it and see how he gets on.
OKAVANGO DELTA (3.20) ran really well first time up in a decent-looking bumper at Newcastle, where the horse in front of him has come out to win impressively twice since. If he takes a step forward from Newcastle we’d like to think he’ll be competitive.
Again, though, if the ground gets very heavy it might be a bit much to ask of him at this early stage of his career - so we’ll be anxiously waiting to see if the forecasters have got it right.
One of ours who won’t mind it if the rain does come is ESPOIR MORIVIERE (11.55) who loves those sort of conditions and would be right at home with it. He’s won at Wetherby in the past so we know he enjoys the track. He always runs his race and has been a great servant to us, so we’re excited about running him back there again.
Once again, Happy Christmas!