Rath An Iuir
BACK to Perth for the final day of their festival with six runners - although we’re only represented in three races.
RATH AN IUIR and GENTLEMAN DE MAI (2.05) both line up in the Highland National over a marathon trip just shy of 3-miles-seven. That extreme test of stamina will be right up Rathy’s street as he’s shown with his encouraging run in the Eider this season as well as his win over three-plus at Kelso in December. He loves soft or heavy ground so while we look unlikely to get it bottomless, it has been raining up in Scotland so the more that comes the better his chance will be. Conor O’Farrell rides in Craig Nichol’s absence.
Gentleman De Mai has been a frustrating customer this season, running solid enough races to finish second in both of his last starts. We switched him to fences at Wetherby where a slow jump two out probably cost him the race. The handicapper has agreed there was plenty of encouragement there, raising him 2lbs for the effort, but off a mark of 112 we still feel there’s a lot more to come from him. This will be the furthest he’s run but as a close relative of Bristol De Mai, stamina won’t be an issue and the test could even unlock the improvement we’ve been hoping for. Sean Quinlan rides.
CAPTAIN QUINT (3.15) goes again after his unseat here on Wednesday. As we said yesterday, we took him to Lucinda Russell’s yard just 20 miles down the road from Perth for a pop over a few fences to make sure he was perfectly fine following the mishap. Conor came along to ride him and was really happy, so we’ll have another crack today. He’s the one of our runners who wouldn’t want it getting too soft.
Here Comes The Man
HERE COMES THE MAN (3.15) will also line up just a fortnight after his win at Newcastle. He came out of that race fine so with options coming up fairly limited we thought we’d get going again fairly quickly with him. The handicapper has given him a hike of eight pounds for winning last time out, which probably underlines how well he ran that day. Obviously life will be tougher off the revised mark and in a higher grade of race, but he’s a horse we’ve always had great faith in and now his physical issues seem to be behind him, we’d be very hopeful of him mixing it in this company. The ground softening will help but the track is an unknown although we’re happy to give it a try.
WILD POLLY (3.15) is the third runner we’ve got in this race - we’re making up over 33% of the field now there’s been a withdrawal! A mare with loads of promise a few years ago she had a long time off the track and we’ve been feeling our way back with her since. We tried her over two-and-a-half miles on chase debut last time at Carlisle and she was running well but made a bad mistake and was pulled up afterwards. More rain will also help her and Dylan Johnston’s seven pound claim will come in handy since she’s a few pounds out of the handicap.
PATS DREAM (5.00) makes his handicap debut stepping up in trip to two-and-a-half miles. He’s shown promise in each of his runs so far since joining us and with Dylan’s claim hopefully going handicapping can be the start of some fun for his owners the Edwardsons. He’s a big chasing type so it will be good for him mentally to have a run today in handicap company just for his education before we look at fences this autumn.