HARRY WHITTINGTON BLOG: Harry Whittington, Grade One-winning trainer and BETDAQ Brand Ambassador, looks forward to a busy few days for the yard and also how he is building towards having runners in Australia next week.
We’re coming towards the end of the season with the culmination coming next Saturday at Sandown.
It’s been another great season for the yard with 24 winners, but we’ve still got hope of matching last year’s total of 27. If we can squeeze out three more in the next week or so that would be fantastic.
Looking back on the past week, we were obviously bitterly disappointed with the way Anemoi ran in the Scottish Champion Hurdle. He’ll go for a full check now to see if there was something bothering him as that wasn’t his true running at all.
BUSY FEW DAYS AHEAD
Even though we haven’t got long to go until the season finishes, we’ve got plenty of runners over the next few days.
We kick things off with Court Liability in the Stayers Hurdle Series Final at Haydock on Saturday (3.15pm).
He was pulled up the last day and prior to that he ran in what, in hindsight, looked a pretty strong race with the winner coming third in the Pertemps at Cheltenham.
I was a little bit frustrated with that run though as he ran a bit behind the bridle, so we’re going to put some cheek pieces on him on Saturday which hopefully will sharpen him up a bit. He comes here fresh which I think is the best way to get him, so I’m hoping he can put it all together again.
On the best of his form, he’s definitely well-handicapped and even a repeat of his Musselburgh run would give him a squeak.
On the following day, we run Salto Chisco at Market Rasen in the handicap hurdle (3.00pm).
He ran well at Wincanton last Sunday behind Southfield Torr which was his first start after a break over the winter. He didn’t have a hard race and I just looked at this race and thought it was tailormade for him.
The step up to 2m4f seems to have brought out a good deal of improvement, so with any luck he can put in another strong performance.
Zanzi Win takes his chance at Plumpton on Monday (1.50pm). He absolutely loves the track and won well there a couple of weeks ago.
He has to carry a penalty for that, but having looked at the race, it looks readymade for him. The penalty means we’re off level weights with Praeceps who looks to one to beat, but my horse is fresh and well and we’re looking forward to running him again.
If he’s in the same form as last time, I’d like to think he’ll run a big race again.
Later on the card, we run The Kings Baby in the mares’ handicap hurdle (3.00pm).
I’m really hopeful she’ll bounce back to form against the girls having found it a bit tough against the geldings. The step up in trip should suit as well and I’m confident she’ll run a big race.
Over at Huntingdon on Monday, we’re really looking forward to giving Mister Coffey his debut in the bumper (5.10pm).
He’s a very laid back horse who moves beautifully with a hell of a stride. Whatever he does on Monday, I think he’ll improve significantly for the run being only a four-year-old.
The horse covers ground very easily and what’s impressed me is the way he’s able to work with the other good horses in the yard without seeming to put too much effort in. When other horses are off the bridle, he’s still doing what he does within himself.
He ticks a lot of boxes at home, but races aren’t won at home, so he’s got to go and show us what we believe he has on the track. He’s a horse we like a lot and we’re looking forward to running him.
PERTH NEXT WEEK
Looking further ahead, we’re intending to run a couple at Perth next week.
Captain Tommy is scheduled to run in the Listed Novices’ Hurdle (3.00pm).
He’s won both his starts for us and he’s impressed me with the way he has done it. In his win at Wincanton, he was doing the best of his work at the end, so we’re stepping him up again to three miles which I’m confident will suit.
We don’t know how good this horse is yet and it will be interesting to see how he gets on in this company. I’m excited by his potential though and I’m hopeful he’ll do himself justice.
On the Thursday, we run Bigmartre in the 2m4f handicap chase. He’s in really good form and has come out of the Topham at Aintree really well.
A mark of 140 looks competitive on the best of his form, so I’m hoping he can finish off his season in style.