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Wetherby and Kelso

Here Comes The Man (second) popping a few fences

HERE COMES THE MAN (3.25) is our sole runner at Wetherby tomorrow and the first of two over the weekend. It’s fair to say he’s not lived up to our expectations since winning on his chase debut at Newcastle last April, but there was plenty of promise in his effort at Newcastle last month, back at a galloping track after making his seasonal return at Carlisle, a place we’ve now learned doesn’t play to his strengths. 

At Newcastle he travelled and jumped well before just getting tired on the heavy ground between the second last and last. You’ll recall we were slightly concerned by our form at that point, but things have picked up since so there’s every hope he’ll kick on again. Wetherby should suit him well and the handicapper has dropped him a bit again, so he’s slipping back towards his last winning mark. 

It’s tougher now in these open handicap chases and there are three last-time-out winners in the race as well as a couple who have interesting recent placed form. You expect it to be this competitive when you go racing on a Saturday so we’re under no illusions about the task he faces. We know he’s got ability when it all comes together so with conditions to suit, if he progresses again like he did from his first to second runs this season then we’re hopeful of being involved. 

It will be off to Kelso on Sunday with FIRTH OF FORTH (1.50), a venue he likes having been placed there three times in the past. He made his chasing debut at Newcastle just before Christmas where he jumped and travelled well for the majority of the 3 miles before being outpaced when the race cranked up turning in. We step back in trip a bit here on softer ground and with a 4lbs drop in this 0-115, he’ll get weight from all bar one of the field. 

He’s a horse we’re desperate to win with after a few near misses in the past - especially here - so hopefully returning to Kelso, where his owner Mark Hunter is the chairman, can be the catalyst! 

There’s no doubt ours are running much better now compared to a couple of months ago and I was pleased with Cailin Dearg’s performance at Sedgefield. She travelled and jumped a lot better this time compared to Catterick so hopefully it won’t be long before she goes in again.

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