FIRST of all, hopefully all our blog readers had a wonderful Christmas and the hangovers are starting to clear in time for what is always a fantastic day’s racing.
We head to Newcastle with three runners and ESPOIR MORIVIERE (12.27) in at Wetherby. He ran a blinder at Sedgefield last time when we were not sure the track would suit him, but it clearly did. He has run well at Wetherby in the past, although the ground won’t be as soft as it was when he was second here back in March. Hopefully it will be soft enough to give him the kind of test he needs and we believe he’ll have an each-way chance.
ROCKONSOPH (12.15) has been given a very fair opening mark of 100 on the back of her runs for us so far, so we were delighted with that. We are not so delighted about the eighteen runners in the race though - I wish they’d divided it because there were far more declared who haven’t got to run. But anyway…..Soph ran well last time at Kelso in a slow-run race and the sprint found her out a bit. She didn’t have the gears needed but I’d like to think they’ll go a faster pace today and we’ll see her to better effect.
Okovango Delta thinking about jumping a few more hurdles today than last time...
OCOVANGO DELTA (2.00) won nicely at Doncaster last time out in a race where a lot of hurdles taken out so it was a weird race. He did jump well at the few obstacles they did go over, though, and he’s in good form at home. This is a higher grade so he’s got a bit more on his plate today, but he only went up 4lbs for the Donny win. We believe he’s capable of a step up in class, he’s a nice type so hopefully there’s a bit of improvement to come.
Finally, FETE CHAMPETRE (2.35) is looking to get back on track after a disappointing effort at Kelso last time. We dropped him in too far, he had the hood on as well, and he just couldn’t reel the runners up front in at any point. We have put the tongue-tie back on him today because he made a bit of a noise last time and was wobbly afterwards, so he could do with a bit of help.
He’s someone we have always thought a bit about so hopefully he can bounce back and if he does then he’ll have an each-way chance.