At Wolverhampton 17 days ago Little Jack made his stable and flat debut, but as has shown with both of his previous yards, he once again let his temperament get the better of him. He was reluctant to race and once consenting was already many lengths behind and facing an impossible task. He has been declared at Catterick on Monday at 4.05.pm, in a 12 furlongs novice stakes, where Aiden Brookes retains the ride.
LITTLE JACK. 14 May 2014. Malinas-Persian Forest Owner-Anthony Bithell.
Little Jack has raced out of two other yards, racing in two bumpers, and nine hurdle races, before recently joining us at Oakwood Stables. His dam only raced on three occasions back in 2011, showing nothing, but as a broodmare she has produced three racecourse representatives to date, including the very exiting three times winner, and twice runner up, Restandbethankful, from his five starts. Little Jack's sire was the German Derby runner up back in 2004, and is a good source of national hunt horses, although he has a very poor strike rate with his representatives on the flat.
Little Jack made the perfect start to his career in the charge of the Warren Greatrex yard when comfortably winning a bumper first time out at Fontwell by 15 lengths in June 2018.He was given a break until November when he reappeared at Market Rasen under a penalty, to finish an eight lengths third. He made an inauspicious start to his hurdles career in January 2019, when after going to post early, he refused to race. 11 days later at Fontwell he did consent to race, but could only manage a seventh placing of the 12 runners, it was decided after that race that he required wind surgery.
Little Jack was back on the track within two months at Exeter, but trailed in 45 lengths behind the winner, but the vet did report that he finished the race lame. He was given a summer break and returned at Hereford in October, where after being mounted on the course, and led in at the start, he ran in snatches, and finished a 24 lengths fifth. Back at Hereford a month later, and on his handicap hurdles debut from a mark of 106, he finished third, 13 lengths off the winner, but he was staying on over an extended two miles and three furlongs.He was reluctant to line up at Huntingdon in December, and after being very slowly away, eventually pulled up, it was decided that he would need further wind surgery.
Little Jack didn't reappear until September 2020, where once again he showed a reluctance to race, but after consenting, ran his best race to date to finish a length and three quarters second, in a first time tongue tie, on good ground, from a mark of 106. After that race he was sold out of the Warren Greatrex yard, and under new ownership, joined the yard of Gary Hanmer where he raced twice. At Catterick in December he trailed in well beaten over the extended three miles and one furlong in soft ground, and when reappearing in May 2021 at Southwell he once again dug his heels in and refused to race.
Little Jack could have been sold for big money after his debut success in the bumper, but wind problems, and temperament have got the better of him. He obviously has more than his fare share of ability under the bonnet, and it will be interesting to see how things pan out.
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Good luck to the connections, Anthony Bithell.