Several of our Folly House inmates are running over this weekend as we progress further down the road to the Cheltenham Festival.
Thebannerkingrebel was 3rd under a 5lbs penalty in the Grade 2 Supreme Trial at Haydock in rather unfortunate circumstances. We were badly hampered on the run from the last to the line and had to check, and therefore lost all momentum.
The stewards had a look, but having been beaten 2 lengths, they were never going to overturn the result. We looked to hold all the aces coming to the last, but we jumped the last a little slowly and handed our advantage to the pursuers. It is always easy in hindsight, but perhaps that was one that got away!
Although frustrating, he has run well considering he was giving the winner and the second a 5Ibs penalty, so to be beaten 2 lengths, when you look at the facts and figures, we’ve actually come out of it the better horse by 3Ibs. The handicapper agreed and has put us up 4Ibs to a mark of 145, so when you take it all into consideration, it was a very good run.
Interestingly enough, the race was run in the exact same time as the Champion Hurdle trial, and we were carrying 3Ibs more than Pentland Hills (2nd) and 5Ibs more than Ballyandy (1st). So the facts suggest we have run a career-best and are improving, so the dream is still very much still alive.
We will certainly consider the Betfair Hurdle now, as we will be 4Ibs well-in, and then there is enough time to then head to the Supreme Novices.
This week’s entries
Pisgah Pike is entered in a few races. We are keeping an eye out for better ground over 2 miles, which should be right up his street.
Fakenham might be the one for him all being well. He never showed a great deal of form over in Ireland when he was racing in bumpers, but he ran very well on debut for us at Ludlow on the back of a wind-op.
He jumps really well, and goes well enough at home to suggest he can win his novice before progressing. Fakenham might be the race for us.
Irska ran a couple of times on fast ground during the summer and picked up a low handicap mark. Since then, we have stepped him up in trip on softer ground at Hereford where he finished 3rd on handicap debut.
He’ll now go up to 3 miles and he should have a chance in whatever race we go for.
Fortunate Fred has his first entry at Huntingdon for Andrew & Kate Brooks. He’s a nice horse, goes well at home and is interestingly a brother to Darling Maltaix.
He was pre-training in Ireland last year without running and arrived at Folly House off the back of a summer break. He’s definitely going in the right direction, and we’re looking forward to finding out a bit more about him at Huntingdon.
The plan for Thomas Macdonagh is to go for the Grade 2 River Don at Doncaster on Saturday. He’s won three on the bounce and is a progressive horse and deserves his shot at a graded prize.
He’s in great form and on handicap ratings he rated 4th best in this race, so we’re hopeful that he keeps progressing here.
Coole Well will head to Sedgefield on Sunday off the back of finishing 2nd on each of his last three chase starts this season. He comes into this off the same mark as his last run and we’re hoping this will be his time to get his head in front.