HARRY WHITTINGTON BLOG: Harry Whittington, Grade One-winning trainer and ambassador for market-leading betting exchange BETDAQ, looks ahead to his runners over the next few days, including the potential return of Saint Calvados.
It’s been a bit of a mixed week with some of the horses running really well, but we were obviously pretty disappointed with BIGMARTRE’s run at Cheltenham on Saturday.
I thought he just ran a bit flat and it was unfortunate that the ground went against him on the day. He’s a good ground horse and it went soft just before the race and he just never really travelled with his usual zest.
He’s won six races around flat tracks, so I’m not entirely convinced Cheltenham suited him quite as much as others have in the past.
I think he gets into a better rhythm on a flat track and we’ll aim him at the closing handicap chase on Ladbrokes Trophy day at Newbury in December.
He’s come out of the race fine and we’ll have him really fresh for that run, which should hopefully see him back to his best.
On a more positive note, we were thrilled with VINNIE LEWIS at Southwell on Thursday.
After such an impressive performance, we’re going to stay over hurdles for the time being, but we can always go back over fences which is a nice situation to be in.
We’re looking at running him in a three mile novice contest at Southwell at the end of the month under a penalty, which is ideal given how well he did it there on Thursday.
Looking further ahead, providing the handicapper doesn’t have too much of a say, there’s a nice handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day which looks right up his street.
THE GO TOU MAN bounced back to much more like his old self at Southwell on Thursday.
He got a whack at Newton Abbott last time, so we couldn’t have been happier with the run. I actually think if we had got a proper race the first time out, he would have won!
We’re treating the race as his seasonal reappearance and he’s sure to come on heaps for that run.
The horse has only gone up a pound for that run and I’m pretty confident he’ll be bang there next time out.
I was pleased with HENRIETTA BELL’s debut in the bumper at Aintree, she’s a filly we really like.
She got badly hampered and you’d have to think she would have been in the mix if it hadn’t been for that.
We think there is plenty of ability there so we might have a go at the Listed bumper at Huntington next month.
Plenty of horses entered over the next few days
With the ground still very much on the good side, plans are slightly up in the air with SAINT CALVADOS ahead of his run in the Haldon Gold Cup (2.05pm) at Exeter on Tuesday.
We really need rain to fall consistently for the next few days and currently it’s good-to-firm in places at the track.
The back-up plan is the Fortria Chase at Navan on Sunday 11th November and if the rain doesn’t arrive, we’ll look at that.
The horse is in great form and he’s ready to go, so we’ll all be doing a rain dance ahead of Tuesday!
We’re looking forward to running SIMPLY THE BETTS in the Listed Handicap Hurdle (3.00pm) at Ascot on Saturday. He’s in good form and has come on really well since his last run.
He did a fantastic piece of work on Saturday and I couldn’t be happier with him.
I’d like to think he’s pretty well-handicapped based on what he’s done so far, so we’re hopeful of a big run.
We’re waiting on the ground before deciding where ANEMOI will run.
This will be just the third run of his life, but he’s a nice horse and the form of his Ayr run looks to be working out okay.
My horse had to carry a penalty against the likes of Sebastopol that day as well as doing a lot of the donkey work in front.
Wherever he ends up I’m sure he’ll run a nice race.
We run JAMMY GEORGE in the novices’ hurdle (12.55pm) at Wetherby on Saturday, who makes his debut for the yard after coming over from Thomas Cooper in Ireland.
He’s very much a horse we’re looking forward to getting over fences, so anything he does over hurdles will be a bonus.
Another horse who might make their debut for us over the weekend is LANTIERN in the bumper (4.05pm) at Ascot on Saturday.
We think he’ll run better in an end-to-end gallop rather than a stop-start race because he’s a bit quirky, but he’s also talented.
He had a nice racecourse gallop at Kempton the other day and I think he could be quite smart.
If we do take our chance, I’m hopeful he’ll run a solid race.
I had an inkling Samcro would stay over hurdles, he’s obviously extremely talented and connections have never won the Champion Hurdle so I wasn’t surprised with the decision.
He ticks all the boxes in that division and he has to be one of the major contenders come March.