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  • Ian Ender

TWO AT PERTH IN THE NORTHERN LIGHTS QUALIFIERS.

Both our runners on Thursday at Perth are running in the wonderful series of races that is run under the 'Northern Lights Qualifiers.' banner.These are races that give horses with a lower rating the opportunity of running for big prize money later in the season, offering the chance for an owner to recoup a good percentage of a seasons keep, from winning one race, and this is very welcome.

Late Date makes his seasonal debut in the 5.10.pm, where the going at the time of writing is just on the soft side of good, a surface which suits this four time winner.He is a course and distance winner, but has always needed his first run back after a break, to put him straight,Billy Garritty who finished third in the Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday, shows his versatility in this three miles chase.

Onlyfoolsownhorses is our other runner at 5.40.pm, like Late Date he also boasts an excellent strike rate, he has three wins already, from just 13 starts.He was in excellent form back in 2017, notching up a hat-trick over hurdles in just under eight weeks, he has since been blighted by injury, and since returning over fences has struggled.On Thursday he goes back to hurdles for the first time in over three years, off his last winning mark of 105, so hopefully we will see an upturn in fortunes.Regular jockey Alain Cawley is still on the sidelines, so Joe Colliver who has ridden him twice previously takes the ride.


Good luck to the connections, Country Set Six & Partner, and The Cheltenham Trail & Proform Racing.


LATE DATE. 13 April 2011 Oscar-Regents Ballerina Owner-County Set Six & Partner.


Late Date is an out and out stayer who loves Sedgefield racecourse, and soft ground. He ran in two Irish Points before joining us, winning on the second occasion.

We gave him three runs over two, to two and a half miles in novice hurdles, for which the handicapper gave him a mark of 91. His next run, was his first in a handicap over two miles and six furlongs at Kelso, under Fin O'Toole, and he finished a very respectable second of 14. He returned to the Scottish track in April, once again finishing second, before a third placing at Newcastle, then getting off the mark at Perth, over three miles.

Unfortunately it is the fate of many jumpers to suffer injury at sometime in their career, and Late Date would only see the racecourse once more in the next 18 months.On his return he was sent straight over fences, and on his second start began his love affair with Sedgefield, winning over the extended three miles and two furlongs.He seems to reserve his best form for the County Durham track as he has run there six times, and won three of them.

Late Date has a fair strike rate of four wins from 22 races, and a 50% win to run ratio at Sedgefield, so when racing resumes, don't say no one told you.


ONLYFOOLSOWNHORSES.

18 May 2011. Presenting-Lizzy Langtry Owner-The Cheltenham Trail & Proform Racing.


Onlyfoolsownhorses is a very well bred gelding, being by Presenting, the prolific sire of jumpers, out of an unraced King's Theatre mare. He was named after his illustrious former stable mate, Onlyorsenfoolies.

To say Onlyfoolsownhorses was a difficult horse to train in his early days is an understatement, and he didn't make his racecourse debut until he was five. Unfortunately he disgraced himself on his first start at Doncaster, in January 2016, playing up badly when down at the start, and detaching himself from the rest of the field, once the race had started, leaving jockey Craig Nicol with no choice but to pull him up. His next start in March didn't offer a lot more hope, once again looking reluctant, but at least completing in his own time, on that occasion. He was turned away for the Summer, and did not return until January 2017, where he trailed in sixth of the nine beaten 68 lengths.At Newcastle two weeks later, he once again failed to complete, but at Carlisle in February on his fifth start, he was passing beaten horses, staying on into a 25 lengths third placing, maybe all the patience he had been shown, may well yet pay off.

It was his very next start in May,and his handicap debut off a mark of 98, at Carlisle, under Finn O'Toole where the penny finally dropped. Having to be coaxed along, but keeping on gamely he won by seven lengths, over the extended two miles and three furlongs.Just one week later over the same course and distance, he doubled up off the same mark, as his previous win had been in a conditionals race, he was once again ridden by Finn.In July from his new mark of 105, he and Finn completed the treble at Perth over two miles and four furlongs.His final run of 2017 was in August at Hexham, with Brian Hughes in the saddle, Onlyfoolsownhorses stayed on to be second over a trip just short of three miles, but the handicapper thought it was his best effort yet, as he raised him to a mark of 115.

The horse was beset with injury, and didn't appear again until the following April 2018, at Carlisle, when finishing last of four on his chase debut. It would be a further 14 months until we saw him again at Hexham where he pulled up, as he did again at Uttoxeter a month later.His final start to date was at Hexham in September 2019, when completing in his own time.

Onlyfoolsownhorses remains a very lightly raced horse for his age, he is well handicapped again, and if the team can sweeten him up once more, a repeat of 2017 could well be on the cards.

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