Fehily Heads To Huntingdon Before Retirement5 min read
Duel Champion Hurdle winning jockey Noel Fehily will retire from the saddle at Newbury on Saturday. Fehily announced that his retirement was imminent after guiding 50/1 shot Eglantine Du Seuil to victory in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last week, but he has decided to call time on a brilliant career this weekend at the Berkshire track.
Looking further afield and it doesn’t look as if Champion Chaser Altior will step up in trip at Aintree next month and is likely to be kept back for Sandown’s Grade 1 Chase on the final day of the jumps’ season. It is expected, however, that Altior will be aimed at the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day for which he is 4/1 joint favourite at BetVictor alongside the 2018 winner Clan Des Obeaux.
Three jumps cards’ this afternoon and we begin at Huntingdon where Agent Memphis would have every chance for Kim Bailey, but the mare only got as far as the first at Market Rasen last month and might be best watched at present.
The vote goes to the lightly-raced top-weight Stormy Milan (3.05) who jumped well on his chase debut when not beaten far when fourth of five at Leicester. The selection gave the impression this step up in trip would suit and he has been dropped 3lbs by the handicapper. Note trainer Charlie Longsdon had a welcome double at the weekend.
Fehily takes the ride on Capone (3.40) who was last seen finishing second to Quel Distin – fifth in the Triumph Hurdle last week – at Haydock in the Victor Ludorum Hurdle. The selection gets a 7lbs weight-for-age allowance as the only juvenile in the field and is preferred to Dyliev who has won three of his last four but is 10lbs higher than when scoring over C&D last time.
Stormy Milan (3.05)
At Wetherby Ballasalla (4.20) steps up in trip having been caught close home at Doncaster on his last start. The selection is a full brother to Grand National winner Ballabriggs – and runs in the same Trevor Hemmings silks – so it would be fair to suggest that today’s additional quarter of a mile should suit.
At Taunton Birds Of Prey (2.20) can finally break his maiden tag over timber having finished second in all three starts over timber for Paul Nicholls. The gelding did finish fourth in the November Handicap on the level back in the autumn and is rated 90 in that sphere.
Anthony Honeyball puts the hood back on the keen going Drops Of Jupitor (3.25) but if the hood makes her more amenable to restraint then she must go close in the Novices’ Handicap Chase with Rex Dingle taking over in the saddle. The selection wore a hood when scoring over timber at Exeter and she certainly has the scope to jump a fence.
Gonnabegood (5.05) disappointed over fences last time but has been given 11 weeks to get over that run, and he reverts to timber just 5lbs higher than when scoring at Exeter on his penultimate start. The combination of Rex Dingle and Jeremy Scott teamed up to finish fourth in the Martin Pipe Hurdle – best of the British – on Friday and the selection is also entered at Wetherby on Wednesday.
Birds Of Prey (2.20)
Drops Of Jupitor (3.25)