BetVictor Brand Ambassador Jamie Snowden runs the rule over last week’s runners, his entries for this week and also gives us his thoughts on Boxing Day’s King George VI Chase at Kempton.
“Firstly I’d just like to wish all the readers of my blog a happy Christmas and a prosperous new year. I hope you enjoy the insights and find my comments useful and informative. From around 50 horses, we’ve already had 41 winners this season and we’re looking forward to a successful second half of the campaign.”
Last week’s entries
“After showing glimmers of promise in a couple of runs in Ireland, Pisgah Pike had his first run for us finishing a decent 3rd in a bumper at Ludlow on Wednesday. We did his wind, and with a first time tongue tie he ran nicely to finish 3rd behind two good horses in Mont Segur and Lord Aparelli. He tanked into the race, and I think stamina probably just gave way inside the final half furlong. He’ll be seen to best effect in a fast-run handicap. He can definitely win these races.
Conditions were awful at Exeter on Thursday where Exod’ela finished 3rd in a race where the winner (Unwin VC) bolted up. We probably would have finished 2nd but were hampered at the last and he’s certainly one to keep an eye on.
Barrowlands probably didn’t quite stay finishing 4th at Uttoxeter on Friday. He’s now off for a wind op and should be back in around six weeks’ time.
Coole Well finished 2nd behind a very good horse at Haydock on Saturday. We actually wanted to run him at Hereford the previous weekend but he had some foot trouble. He ran a nice race anyway and should be able to win over fences before long.
Also at Haydock, Early Morning Rain slightly disappointed in her third run in 18 days. I ran her in a listed race at Newbury and she won two days later on heavy ground at Lingfield and that probably just took its toll. She finished 5th of 10 here but she’s better than that, so we’ll freshen her up now and probably go to the Grade 2 at Sandown in February.”
This week’s entries
“Ben Hicks takes the ride on Irska in the 3:35 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at Fontwell on Boxing Day. He’s a horse that had shown a bit of form in an Irish point to point and had three runs for us on good ground through the latter part of the autumn, which he found fairly sharp.
He’s got an opening mark of 93 which doesn’t look like a complete “gimme” so Ben will take 10lbs off which should help him. He should handle these softer conditions better than the good ground through the autumn and a first time tongue tie should help too. We’ll want to go up to 3 miles in time.
College Oak is entered in Friday’s 12:25 Novices’ Hurdle at Wetherby but I’ll put some more entries in for him at Haydock and Catterick. He won his bumper and he was a good 2nd first time out over hurdles. He’s certainly shown enough to go and win his novice hurdle, we just need to find the right race.
We were considering Thebannerkingrebel for Leopardstown this week but I think he’s now going to Haydock for the Grade 2 on January 18th. We’d like to hope that he might be good enough to have every chance in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival, and going to Leopardstown now might just take its toll in the spring. Looking to the longer term future, we’re thinking Haydock is probably a more suitable stepping stone into the Supreme than a slog over the Irish Sea and taking on the Irish in their own back yard.
We’ve got Alrightjack entered over 3 miles in the first race at Doncaster on Sunday although he’ll have a couple of other entries as well. He’s qualified for the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival but needs to win now to go up in the handicap and get in. He’s in great form in himself, he was 4th first time out in a graded race this season and should certainly have every chance of winning wherever he turns up next.”
King George VI Chase
“I’m a huge fan of Lostintranslation but Cyrname is the highest rated horse in England and so is definitely the worthy favourite. It’ll be a cracking race between all of them with Clan Des Obeaux the slightly forgotten horse having won it last year.”