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It promises to be an exciting weekend at Folly House, with several runners including Thebannerkingrebel & Pacify.

Last week

Having won on his first two starts for us, Battleofthesomme hasn’t been able to trouble the judge off his inflated handicap mark despite filling minor honours. The handicapper should start to relent and I’d have thought he can get closer once he is carrying less weight and on spring ground.

Ask Robin has had his issues but has shown some promise, although he didn’t appreciate the heavy ground at Taunton the other day. He should be seen in better light on some spring ground when dropped in class too.

January is always a quieter month for us in terms of runners as we tend to give them a quiet couple of weeks post-flu-vacs. However, I am pleased that we’ve added to our seasonal tally which now stands at 43, and with 3 months of the season to go, I am looking forward to the spring.

This week

We are very much looking forward to running Pacify (who runs in HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s colours) in the Sidney Banks Listed Novice Hurdle at Huntingdon on Thursday.

He won 5 novice hurdles through the late summer and early autumn but unfortunately has to carry a 5Ibs penalty tomorrow for winning a listed event at Kempton in October. However, he ran well under that penalty in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham in November when he finished 2nd and was only beaten a couple of lengths.

I think the step-up in trip will suit tomorrow, in what looks a very hot race. His best form on the flat was over 1 mile 6 furlongs and he’s been winning over 2 miles over hurdles, so there’s an argument to say he will benefit from going up in trip.

He’s in great order and has done loads of work on the lead up to this, so we head here very fit, fresh and well, so we look forward to the challenge. as that last appearance and over 3 miles on soft ground where the track suits, if he puts his best foot forward, he’s got every chance of getting his head in front, which he certainly deserves.

Special mention

I’d like to have a special mention for Robert Alner.

Robert was a great friend of John Dufosee, who I started out with years ago. They were rival point-to-point trainers in the West Country but great mates too. I had a couple of rides for Sally Alner in and rode out there on several occasions.

Robert was a true horseman and it was wonderful when he won the Gold Cup with Cool Dawn. He’ll be sorely missed.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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