7 RUNNERS ON BOXING DAY.
Wetherby is our focus on Saturday, when we have seven runners contesting four races on what will probably be soft ground.
We have two runners in the second race at 12.20.pm, a three miles 0-105 novice handicap chase. Commanding Spirit has run well on two of his last three starts, maybe not just seeing out the extended three miles and two furlongs last time at Sedgefield, but still finishing fourth, beaten by six and a half lengths. He was a winning pointer before joining us in 2018, and has also finished runner up on five occasions in that discipline.Billy Garritty who was on board last time, retains the ride.
We also run Trimmers Lane in the same contest, with Connor O'Farrell riding him for the first time.Trimmers Lane is also a winning pointer , his win came at Kirkistown in Ireland on heavy ground back in November of last year, after which he joined us.He has run five times since, with his best run coming at Catterick in January when beaten 15 lengths off of a mark of 93, on Saturday he will race from a mark of 79.
We also have two runners in 12.53.pm, an extended 0-110 two miles and three furlongs handicap hurdle. Raddle And Hum will be ridden by Becky Smith for the first time. Raddle And Hum finished runner up in the corresponding race last year from 1lb higher mark, and has had valid reasons for not performing to the same level in three subsequent starts. She had her pipe opener at Wetherby back in October, and should strip a lot fitter.
Kildrum is our other runner in the race. This will be his first start for the yard since arriving from Ireland where he has done all of his racing over fences in points, hunter chases, or handicap chases, with the exception of his penultimate start, when on his only try over hurdles to date, he got no further than the first. He starts for us off a reasonably good looking mark of 87, but he is entitled to need the run, with Billy Garritty taking the ride.
We are also doubly represented at 2.40.pm,which is a two miles and five furlongs 0-130 handicap hurdle. Elysees made a promising start to his career with us when finishing a 12 lengths seventh at Wetherby a month ago, when the ground would have probably been too soft for him,so he wont want any further rain, with all of his best form for previous trainers coming on a sounder surface. He is a good horse under the right conditions, with his mark of 125 looking about right, Connor Brace who has ridden him when he was trained elsewhere, has his first ride for us.
Our other runner in the race is the very smart chaser Kayf Adventure, who runs over hurdles for the first time since March 2017, when finishing second off 125.As a chaser the handicapper saw fit to rate him at his best 139, so his mark of 122 on Saturday looks very lenient. He made his stable debut for us at Aintree three weeks ago in a Class 3 handicap chase, but didn't jump well, and pulled up two out, he has since had minor wind surgery, so this race will hopefully be a confidence booster, and see him heading back in the right direction.
Our final runner is Applaus in the 3.13.pm, a two miles 0-115 handicap hurdle. Applaus has looked a much more confident horse on both his starts this season at Carlisle, he won first time back after 11 months off the track, and four weeks later went down by just a neck off 5lb higher.The handicapper has raised him a further 4lb for that run, but he still remains 3lb lower than when winning at this track over fences back in 2018. If continuing in the same mood, there is no reason to think he wont run another big race, with Billy Garritty again on board.
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Good luck to the connections, Mrs Jennifer Hill & Mrs Samantha Toomes, Ian Ender, Miss Rebecca Dennis, T M Clarke, Craig & Laura Buckingham, Cheltenham Trail & Cleeve Racing Club, and The Deckchair syndicate.