AFTER Ayr last weekend, we’re heading back north of the border for another of Scotland’s jumps festivals.
The trip, track and ground all look right for DO NOT DISTURB (1.55), who runs off bottom weight in the 3m novices’ handicap chase on day one of Perth’s three-day meeting and it looks a super-competitive event for the time of year. You can see him in the video above doing a bit of work earlier this week.
Do Not Disturb won over an extended 2m4f on soft ground on his penultimate start at Ayr, which earned him a crack at the Northern Lights finals at Carlisle, where he finished midfield in the middle distance final.
The ground was actually quite testing that day, which wouldn’t have been ideal for him.
So I think the better conditions at Scone will suit much better and we’ve also been looking forward to stepping him up to 3m for a while too.
I hope he’ll take a step forward in terms of his form as a result but, as I say, it looks a strong race for the grade. Conor O’Farrell, who’s had such a good season, is back in the plate today.
The closing 3m amateur riders’ handicap hurdle has divided – and that’s great news for James Robottom, who can now partner ESPOIR MORIVIERE (4.40) in the first division and, fittingly, FINAL FLING (5.15) in the finale.
James has had only three rides over jumps so far (plus one more on the Flat), but he has managed to bag two second places. Hopefully that breakthrough win won’t be long in coming.
Two rides are better than one in terms of James building up his experience of race-riding.
Both horses are in good order, but 3m on good ground around Perth might just be on the sharp side for the pair of them.
I’m sticking first-time cheekpieces on Espoir as they can go off a decent gallop in these amateur races.
Hopefully they will help him to travel up with them through the early and middle parts of the race. If they do then I’d like to think he’ll have a chance because he does stay well.
My worry with conditions the way they are is that they both might just find things happening a little too quickly for them.
On Thursday, SEVEN EYE BRIDGE (3.30) is our only runner of the day in the extended 3m2f handicap hurdle, with Conor on board.
Once again it’s a competitive race for a 0-130. But I marked this out in the programme book as a good race for him because it should be a proper old test of stamina.
Whether we actually get to run him depends on the weather. We’d want it to be on the easy side of good and my worry looking at the forecast is that by Thursday afternoon the ground may have dried out a fair bit.
Either way, chasing will be his game and that’s the direction we’ll take with him once the autumn comes around.