WE HAVE RUNNERS AT AINTREE AND KELSO ON SATURDAY.
Two runners on Saturday at Kelso where the going is good to soft at the time of writing, and one at Aintree where it is soft.
The very classy Royal Village is due to make his stable debut for us in the 2.10.pm over a trip just short of two and a half miles. He was due to run at Wetherby last Friday, but the ground was considered too soft, looking back through his form suggests that he doesn't want it any worse than good to soft. Royal Village is no stranger to Class 2 company, as three of his seven wins have come in that Grade.He was last seen at his best in October 2019, when finishing third from a mark of 141, but in three efforts since the resumption of racing, he has fallen short of that level, and will start out for us off a mark of 135, with Champion jockey Brian Hughes taking the ride.
Blue Hussar has been a fine servant to the yard since arriving from Aiden O'Brien's yard back in 2015, winning twice on the flat, including at York, and three times over hurdles.As he has got older we have found out that longer distances are more beneficial in bringing out the best in him, and this was proved at Market Rasen back in January , when running over two miles and seven furlongs, he stayed on strongly,to win by two and three quarter lengths, Back at the same track in February he unfortunately struck in to himself, and required a six month break.He returned at York in September for his pipe opener, but lost his left hind shoe, and was wisely pulled up by his jockey, but he did return lame.Blue Hussar starts out his new jumps campaign in the 1.07.pm race at Kelso from 6lb higher than his last win, and runs over his longest trip yet of an extended three miles and one furlong, Billy Garritty takes the ride.
The six year old mare Fortia also missed out on running at Wetherby last week because of the ground being too soft, and she runs in the extended two and a half miles handicap hurdle at 2.52.pm, also at Kelso.She has run twice on the flat recently at Catterick, and Ripon without being able to get involved, and she had three middle of the field finishes for us over hurdles last winter.Her best run was when trained by Emma Lavelle, when going down by a neck in a maiden hurdle at Worcester in September 2018, form which makes her a well handicapped horse for this, Becky Smith will be on board.
Good luck to the connections, Cheltenham Trail & Cleeve Racing Club, Richard Howard & Ben Howard, and Samuel Sutton & Partners.