Weekly catch-up, Newcastle and Doncaster

SADLY we knew our fate today with Slanelough before the race even started with the fences being dolled off for low sun. He’s a horse who loves jumping so when you take that away from him, he’s always going to be up against it. He ran on well enough to claim second in the end but it was just disappointing he wasn’t given the conditions to show the best of himself. That’s racing at this time of the year I suppose, so there’s nothing you can do about it and the positive is it’s another run so we’ll look for something else for him now.


We head to Newcastle tomorrow with one runner. CAPTAIN QUINT (12.55) impressed when winning at Hexham last week so we thought we’d take our chances turning him out quickly again. The French Furze is a race we love to have a runner in and the plan had been to run Gentleman De Mai but he had a bad scope last week so that put paid to it.


It’s a quick turnaround for Captain Quint but he came back from Hexham in great fettle, he doesn’t look like it took too much out of him. It’s a bit of a gamble because we don’t know how strong that Hexham race was, but this trip and if the rain comes the ground will suit him. It’s always a hot race and Paul Nicholls' horse sets a fair standard so we’ll see how we get on.

Down at Doncaster VINTAGE GLEN (12.05), above, runs in the three-mile-two conditional jockeys’ race. He ran a cracker at Kelso last time out and is a horse we’ve felt has been coming along nicely for a while. It has taken a bit of patience to get him to this stage but he’s primed to have a good season this year. The horse who beat him at Kelso, Breaking The Ice, came out and won again next time so the form looks decent. We have won the race before with Attention Please so it would be great to do it again - and everything makes us think the track and trip will suit.


He will be ridden by Dylan Johnson, who has joined us from Ireland having ridden for Noel Kelly, Stuart Crawford and others in the past. We’re keen to get him going and hopefully Vintage runs well for him.


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A few people have asked us about Rath An Iuir recently so a little update on him is that he’s fine, he’s coming along well and will be out before Christmas. We just didn’t think he was ready for Carlisle so we’ll wait and get a bit softer ground before he comes back.


He’s a horse we think the world of and the injury he sustained last season was a freak one. He got loose on the way back from the gallops, slipped and fractured his pedal bone. We sent him to Newmarket for a very complicated operation so it has been a long way back.


Where we might start off with him is the Tommy Whittle at Haydock in a few weeks’ time.


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I was happy with Fete Champetre at Ayr on Monday, he did well to stand up and wasn’t far away from winning. If he’d jumped the last better he might have, who knows? We are going to step him up in trip now because I felt the speed they went maybe found out his jumping a little bit. Next time expect to see him over two-and-a-half miles and softer ground will also help him, but hopefully the experience of the last two races will stand him in good stead for the future.


Rae Des Champs was a shade disappointing. She’s a lovely filly but she looked a bit slow over two miles so next time we will be stepping her up in trip too and will drop her in a bit because she was a bit keen. She is another one who will benefit from softer ground, but will come on for the run and improve the next time.


Trooper Turnbull put in a great run at Wetherby, doing well to overcome a howler at the third from home. Apart from that it was great...although the same can’t be said for Some Reign. Next time he runs we’ll make sure it’s in a bigger field so we can get him in among horses and get going.


He always makes me nervous when he’s running because it’s still in his character to do something like that and tried it a little bit at Musselburgh. It’s annoying because we all know how good a horse he is when he starts!