FRIDAY'S MENU IS SEVEN AT WETHERBY AND ONE AT UTTOXETER.
Wetherby stage their most prestigious meeting of the season this weekend, with the annual running of the 'Charlie Hall Chase' on Saturday, often won by a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender, and first run in 1969.
Our first runner on Friday is in the 11.55.pm when Raddle And Hum makes her seasonal debut, with Billy Garritty taking over from the injured Craig Nichol in the saddle. Raddle And Hum looked like a next time out winner when finishing second at this track on Boxing Day last year, but in two subsequent runs, probably found the trip too far at Catterick, in January, and the ground too heavy at Kelso in March.She is only 1lb above that Wetherby run, but this her first race in seven months.
We are doubly represented in division two at 12.25.pm, over the extended two miles, and five furlongs, Fortia is the mount of Becky Smith, and Joe Colliver retains the ride on Hala Princess. Fortia is fit from the flat, having run at Catterick in August, and Ripon in September, she is yet to find her best form since joining us from the Emma Lavelle yard around a year ago, having also raced in three hurdle races for us, but her mark of 90 is 16lb below her previous high.
Hala Princess is very lightly raced, and this will only be her seventh start, two of which were in bumpers, when trained by Dan Skelton. To date she has raced twice for us, making her handicap debut at Hexham last month. Although it is still early days, and she will be having only her third start for us, we will be wanting to see a bit more in terms of form.
Ilaya was one of last seasons success stories, once she learnt how to settle, her form improved by leaps, and bounds. She won twice at Newcastle, in December, and January, but probably put up her best effort when finishing second under a double penalty at Catterick on her last start in March, under Emma Smith-Chaston. Unfortunately it hasn't gone unnoticed, with the handicapper raising her 23lb since that first win, so she will need to continue to progress in this higher grade. This is her first start in seven months, and her regular jockey Becky Smith is back in the saddle.
Royal Village is no stranger to running in Listed Class when trained in previous yards, and this most welcome accusation to the yard, starts out for us at that level in the 2.25.pm.His current mark of 135 is 6lb below his previous best, and at eight years old he should still be at his peak. The trip is fine, but he wouldn't want the ground to get any softer, Billy Garritty takes the ride.
Another exiting recruit is Global Village, this ex Gordon Elliott horse makes his yard debut for us in the 3.20.pm with Billy Garritty riding. He won three hurdle races for the Elliott yard back in 2018, but has the added bonus of still being a maiden over fences, he starts out for us in handicap company from a mark of 125.His best run over fences so far was a three and a half length third at Sligo last September from a mark of 130 (Irish rating,)
We run the five year old gelding Cockney Beau in the novice hurdle, over the minimum trip at 3.55.pm. He showed promise in three bumpers last season, but was disappointing on his hurdles debut at Wetherby 16 days ago, with a mistake at the fifth not helping.Once again he is faced with above average looking opposition, but we hope to see him run more of a race this time, his regular jockey Becky Smith takes the ride.
We also have one runner at Uttoxeter where the 10 year old Trimmers Lane runs for the first time since March. He was purchased after winning an Irish Point at Kirkistown in November of last year, which was only his seventh lifetime start, he has raced on four occasions since joining us, with a fifth placing at Catterick in February being his best effort, he is now down to a mark of 79, and has the added bonus of Emma Smith-Chaston, having her first ride back since injury, taking off a further 7lb.
Good luck to the connections, Straightline Bloodstock, Samuel Sutton & Partners, Craig & Laura Buckingham, The Golden Cuckoo, Cheltenham Trail & Cleeve Racing Club, Mrs Helen Sugden, Cheerleader Racing, and Ian Ender.
To read a full essay on each of these horses, scroll down the 'NEWS' page.