WE head back to Musselburgh today for the first time in ages and we’re glad it survived after all the difficulties it has faced in the last few years, so we're eager to get going there once again this season. We run PERMISSION GRANTED in the 3.00, a 3m handicap hurdle.
He’s someone who hasn’t had a lot of luck in his racing career so far, but gets into this off 10st, the right-handed track will suit and good ground is perfect for him. So hopefully we have found the right race! We have decided to put cheekpieces on him for the first time so if that makes him concentrate a bit better we’re hoping everything will fall into place for him to be competitive.
Lucy Alexander has ridden him the last three times but, obviously, won’t be able to continue the partnership today and is replaced by Conor O’Farrell. Lucy has had a horrendous time with injury in recent years so we were delighted to hear she is out of hospital and home following her nasty fall at Newcastle earlier this month.
The life of a jockey is a tough one and while injuries are part of the job at times, what happened to Lucy is a reminder of how precarious things can be. She’s had to have a rod put in to support her fractured back and now faces a period of rehab at Jack Berry House. Everyone at Hazelrigg wishes her well and hopefully we will see her again soon.
On Tuesday SLANELOUGH (2.16) will head to Sedgefield for a 2m3f chase. We’re getting pretty desperate for him to win a race now because the seconds and thirds are mounting up. We all know he’s got ability and he’s been running well for a long time now, but it’s just that extra bit of getting his head in front that has been missing.
We have decided to put a tongue-tie on him for the first time to see if that can give him the little bit more we need. Craig Nichol is returning from his injury so it would be good to give him a winner. He partnered Slanelough at Doncaster back in January 2018 - the last time he won - so hopefully getting them back together will be a good omen!
Here he is at Market Rasen a couple of months back...
Wednesday is Wetherby where SOME REIGN (3.00) will try to get recompense for the last-fence fall which cost him the race there last month. Nobody was in any doubt he would have gone on to win that day if he’d successfully got to the other side, but jumping is the name of the game and he didn’t.
Nothing is easy with this horse and you're relying on him behaving at the start. But if he does that, we'd be hopeful he'll run as well again this time. He’s in good order at home and if he's in the same form he’ll be competitive. If he performs well this week we’ll look towards the Castleford Chase back there over Christmas.
The picture above is him on the gallops working.