William Hill ambassador Lucinda Russell reveals that Ahoy Senor could return over hurdles if Wetherby fails to beat the weather and provides an update on plans for Apple Away and Corach Rambler.
Last Saturday was great! With Caithness, we were quite sure that he’d started to improve, so we were delighted to see that on the track, but I think the one that pleased me the most was Old Gregorian. He’s a novice and is still very naive, yet I thought he ran really well and was just dominant at the end. He’s a little bit backward and we’ll take our time with him, but I was very pleased with the way that he won.
We thought we had Corach Rambler in the best possible condition, but I think looking back, he wasn’t sharp enough and he wasn’t tight enough. In the past, we haven’t had the pressure that we have now because he hadn’t won a Grand National before, but I do remember with his novice chase career, he was fourth in his first novice chase and fifth round Carlisle first time out last season. I think he really is a horse that needs a run. It’s probably because of the way that we like to do things, which is to prepare them to win in the spring – that’s their main aim. They can win before then, but we really want their aim to be at the end of the season, rather than being too wound up at the start.
We’re definitely still thinking about going to Haydock. I’d say we’ve got a bit of time to really get some decent work into him. He’s back on the main gallop now and we’ll get him ready for Haydock, but that’s not his seasonal aim. That is the end of the season, whether it’s Aintree or Cheltenham, but I think we’ll learn a lot about him in the Betfair Chase.
Ahoy Senor has Plan B at Aintree
If Wetherby does go ahead on Saturday, then Ahoy Senor will take his chance. The very soft ground won’t be ideal but we need to get him going. He’s one that everyone knows will improve for his first start of the season, so we want to get him out and then have him ready again for Newbury.
There’s obviously a chance that Wetherby might not be on, so we’ve worked up a Plan B, which would be to run him in the Pertemps Qualifier at Aintree. I’m not afraid to bring him back over hurdles and we’d be running out of time otherwise, so that’s another option on the table.
It’s a shame that Wetherby’s Friday card has been called off, as we were really looking forward to Apple Away.
She was a remarkable hurdler, she was very quick and economical over hurdles. There’s always that worry when you first start over fences, and particularly with her as she’s a sensitive soul, whether they are going to make too big an effort, whether they are going to get up in the air and be slow at the fence, or if she is going to get too brave or too careful? But she’s just exactly the same over fences as she was over hurdles. She meets them right, she can fiddle them, she can lengthen or shorten her stride well so she meets the fence correctly and she’s very, very quick away from it. Her options now look like a Listed contest at Market Rasen, which would be quite a deep race to pitch her into first time, or possibly Hexham. I’ll be very anxious when she does run because you just don’t want any bad luck to creep in, but I like the way she’s been doing things at home.
Top 3 Fancies for Saturday
Primoz (12:00pm, Ayr) is a very interesting horse who I absolutely love. We went to the sales and he was the one that I wanted. We walked down the lines of horses and he just caught my eye. He was expensive and I have kept a share in him! This is a horse that’s going to stay three miles easily in time. He reminds me of a cross between Ahoy Senor and Corrigeen Rock – he’s just a lovely horse. We’ll start him off over two miles, which might be the wrong distance as he might need further, but we’ll see. It’s definitely a very hot race and it’s got two very good horses in it, so it won’t be a walk in the park. Whatever happens, we’re just playing for time over hurdles before we go over fences.
Idem (12:55pm, Ascot) can be little bit anxious about things at home, but he’s a nice horse. We’ve built him up steadily in bumpers and over hurdles, so this is his next challenge. It’s going to be big field and it’s going to be competitive, but I like him a lot and I think he’s on a good mark. Being related to Vieux Lion Rouge, he’s one that will probably relish three miles in time, but Ascot is a nice stiff track.
Traprain Law (3:28pm, Ayr) is horse that takes a bit of getting fit, and I think he’ll improve for this run tomorrow, but he’s had plenty of schooling over fences and I think he’ll enjoy his chase debut. He’s a horse that I’m looking forward to, especially on heavy ground through the winter, and this is a first stepping stone to getting going.
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