Still learning about him and he’ll improve for run
13:15 – Viroflay
He won on the all weather over a mile at Pau in December as a two-year-old, has done plenty of work and has schooled nicely ahead of this debut over hurdles. I am still learning about Viroflay who just needs to show he has got the stamina to see out the trip. Whatever he does I’d expect him to improve mentally and physically.
Improving and will love the ground
14:22 – Fidelio Vallis
He is a lovely young horse who came good in the spring winning at Wincanton and then Kempton on the eve of lockdown. He is an improving type, much stronger this time round and a novice until the end of November. He will love the ground at Kempton, likes to get on with things when racing and has strong claims in this.
Well treated and should go close
14:57 – Darling Maltaix
He is proving to be a handy flagship for Old Gold Racing and comes here in top form after a runaway victory at Ludlow 11 days ago. He enjoys going right handed, relishes quicker ground, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go close in this as he looks quite well treated. Darling Maltaix has been busy this summer and will be going on holiday when the ground changes.
Very fit and has conditions in his favour
15:32 – Diego Du Charmil
He has a great record fresh on good ground and won a valuable Chase on his seasonal re-appearance at Ascot last November. With limited options for him over fences in the spring I decided to switch him back to hurdles in the Kingwell Hurdle at Kempton late in February and he looked all over the winner until he was chinned on the line. Diego is very fit and well and has plenty going for him here with conditions in his favour.
Talented but needs to jump and settle
13:30 – Estelle Ma Belle
She is one of a group of horses sent to me this summer by Jarred Sullivan that were previously in training with Willie Mullins. She had problems with a splint after finishing second in a maiden hurdle at Galway when she hung persistently left. Estelle Ma Belle then had surgery on the splint before joining us and has also had a wind op. She wasn’t schooling great at first but has got much better with practise. She can also be keen which is why she wears a hood but if she jumps and settles she will go well.
Summered well and has good claims of lowly weight
15:10 – Ecco
The more it dries the better for Ecco who won twice early on last season on decent ground and was runner up at Kempton on Boxing Day before finishing down the field in the Martin Pipe Hurdle at Cheltenham. He has summered really well, has a nice, light racing weight in a competitive handicap and has a lovely each-way chance.
Talented but will improve for the experience
16:20 – Westhill
He is by Westerner out of an unraced sister to Knappers Hill who hacked up on his debut for us at Chepstow last weekend. A tiny hairline fracture in a hind leg meant that Westhill missed most of last season so he didn’t do nearly as much at home as most of our unraced five-year-olds. He is back on track now but given the time he missed last winter is bound to improve for this run for experience before he goes hurdling.
Had his problems and will benefit from this
16.55 – Seealotmorebusiness
The same comments apply to Seealotmorebusiness who also spent a period on the sidelines last season after suffering a minor hairline fracture to a front leg. So we gave him plenty of time to recover and he has also had a wind op. He has done plenty at home this autumn, is ready to start now and hopefully can benefit from his debut here before he goes hurdling. He and Westhill are horses for the future.