Back Before Midnight
Before Midnight heads back to Ascot to try and win the Hurst Park Chase on Saturday for a second year on the trot and with this year’s race worth a whopping £125,000, it makes sense to have another crack at this valuable pot!
We were delighted with his first run of the term over course and distance last month when giving 5lbs to the re-opposing Thyme White but on revised terms this time round our chap is, theoretically, 8lbs better off at the weights with Paul Nicholls’ raider so there’s every reason to suggest we can bridge the gap and give him a run for his money, although Harry Cobden’s mount did win doing handstands and is clearly an improving horse.
Chuck in Arkle winner Edwardstone into the mix and it’s shaping up to be a corker of a race but we’ve never been afraid to shirk a challenge and with good prize money on offer, we’ll be giving it our best shot. Adam Wedge gets the leg up and if our records prove correct it will be the first time the jockey has ridden for Sam Thomas, so let’s hope it’s a case of first time lucky!
The race is live on @itvracing and @Skysportsracing at 3:15pm.
Across at Huntingdon Dancing In Brazil makes his eagerly awaited racecourse debut for James and Jean Potter Ltd in the Junior Bumper at 3:43 live on @racingTV. Trained by Alan King, the three-year-old son of Blue Bresil, who is still a colt, is out of our lovely broodmare Hora, who has already bred the likes of Lisp, Thomas Campbell and Royal Ascot winner Coeur De Lion so we are particularly excited about seeing what this chap can do on the track. The reports from Barbury Castle have been extremely positive and after missing his intended debut at Aintree two weeks ago due to a dirty scope, hopefully our patience will be rewarded and he can run a nice race. There’s a four-year-olds only Listed Bumper at Cheltenham on New Years Day which Kingy has his eye on so he’d need to run well on Saturday if that is to remain the objective. Tom Bellamy will be doing the steering on Saturday.
Speaking of those trained by Alan King, Potterman ran a sound race in the Badger Beer Chase at Wincanton but didn’t perhaps travel with his usual fluency and struggled to really land a blow, so we might consider applying a set of cheekpieces for his next run – where that will be we aren’t sure, it may even be back over hurdles, but he was given an entry in the Coral Welsh Grand National @Chepstowraces so who knows, he could end up there!
Our Power, who was brilliant at Ascot last time in the colours of Potter Group and Walters Plant Hire, remains on target for a crack at the Coral Gold Cup a week on Saturday at Newbury and if he arrives in the same form as he did for his seasonal bow, he goes there with every chance.
Unfortunately things didn’t pan out for Stolen Silver and Mister Fisher in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last weekend with both runners finishing the race without their jockeys! Stolen Silver sadly unshipped Sam Twiston three from home and then to rub salt into the wound James Bowen and Mister Fisher departed company at the penultimate fence. It’s fair to say their chances of winning had gone but it was nevertheless a sad outcome to a race that promised so much. Both horses are ‘okay’ but still feeling the affects of a rough race and were quite sore for a few days after. Sam Thomas and Nicky Henderson are both masters of their professions so we have no worries that they’ll get their respective charges back to their best. Stolen Silver is entered in the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham next month and Mister Fisher may head to Huntingdon, for much calmer waters, in the Peterborough Chase on December 4th.
A Family Affair
For those of you who managed to stay for the last race at Cheltenham on Sunday, I hope you got as much enjoyment as we did from seeing Gentle Slopes bolt up in the concluding bumper. Trained by Milton Harris, the five year old Yorton Farm homebred is by Yorton sire Gentlewave out of the delightful Dalriath, whose other son, Sami Bear just got touched off at Wincanton on Thursday afternoon! We also saw a victory for fellow Yorton inmate Pethers Moon in the shape of Moon Hunter who won on hurdles debut for Henry Daly at Wetherby last Saturday.