Sunday 7 February
Plans In Place
A wet and blustery morning yesterday, but we were joined by a few hardy souls. Bob, Chris, John, Phil and Wendy were in to see their horses. Second lot, Bold Conquest did a swinging piece and did it well. He was joined by Savingforvegas and both went really well. Third lot, Cloonacool swung along with Focusing, and once again they both looked in fine form. Focusing is entered in Huntingdon later on in the week. San Telm cantered and looks in fine fettle, Smart Exit was due out third lot, but showed signs of a sore foot, which was quickly dealt with. He will canter today as he has an opportunity in Uttoxeter next Saturday, more of this later. Christmas Twenty spent the morning in the field, and is very relaxed after his run. Another plus for him. He hasn't lost quite the weight that he can, and all seems well for him. Sneaking Budge remains on very light duties - he is just being walked out in hand regularly. Having not seen him for 10 days or so - I was pleased to see a distinct change in the level of swelling he has had in his near hind leg. It is looking much better, and I am sure that it will not be long before he is back being ridden. After the work was done, we looked forward for a few races for them, and this is what we came up with. Sneaking Budge - didn't look - he needs to be back on the road before we can make any sort of plan. Savingforvegas has options on the 3/4/5 March - handicaps and Novice Hurdles. We will speak to her owner Ben Turner - but she could well step up to 3 miles for a tilt at a decent mares novice hurdle in Doncaster on the 5th. Bold Conquest will be ready to run again in about 2 weeks, and he and San Telm, who both need similar race conditions have a wealth of opportunities. A lot will depend on ground conditions, but either could appear at Ascot 20th, Doncaster 24th, Southwell 28th, Newbury 4th, Doncaster, Stratford 5th, Southwell 7th, Chepstow 12th, Market Rasen 13th. Smart Exit, despite having a warm foot yesterday is in great order. He was pulled up in Warwick where they went far too fast for him. He didn't have a hard time of it. The race to aim for is in 5 weeks in Chepstow, so we had a look for a race for him in the mean time. We did ask the handicapper if he would consider dropping him to 110, so that he could run in Towcester, but he said no this time. So we are looking at a race in Uttoxeter next Saturday. It isn't a Chepstow or Towcester, but isn't as quick as Warwick, so it looks a sensible option. He can then go to Chepstow on the 12th of March. Christmas Twenty has options on the 5th and 6th of March at Stratford or Huntingdon. In the past these races have cut up a bit - so they look like the right places to go with him. Cloonacool will miss the Graduation Chase in Kempton on the 12th, and will instead head to the Grade 2 Pendil Novices Chase at the same venue on the 27th. It would have been touch and go if he would be ready for the 12th, and the extra 15 days will be perfect. This year Kempton is close to Cheltenham, so those with aspirations of the Cotswolds will by pass Kempton, and there could only end up with 5/6 runners. It is worth a crack at 2m 4f, as this will answer a few of the 'where to go later' questions. He will then head to Ascot on the 3rd of April, where he will contest a 2m novice handicap chase, before hopefully getting a trip to Punchestown. The Pendil will give us some clues as to which races he needs to be in in Ireland.