HARRY WHITTINGTON BLOG: Harry Whittington, Grade One-winning trainer and ambassador for market-leading betting exchange BETDAQ, looks back on his runners from the last seven days and previews those he has entered during the festive period.
Runners from the past seven days
It’s been another good week for the yard with a number of horses running well and it was great to get a winner with Stick With Bill at Ffos Las on Monday.
The week begun in fairly positive fashion as Genius ran well on his hurdles debut at Taunton last Thursday. I think we took on a pretty smart horse from the Paul Nicholls yard, so there was no disgrace in finishing a close third.
He should come on plenty for the run and we’ll look towards a spring campaign with him as he is more at home on better ground.
I was thrilled with Khage in the maiden hurdle at Southwell on Sunday. It was his most complete performance to date.
He settled the best he ever has and credit must go to Gavin [Sheehan] who gave him a super ride. He’s brilliant on horses that need settling.
The winner is clearly pretty useful, but I’m confident there is plenty more to come from my horse and this performance is a massive step in the right direction.
I’m really looking forward to getting him out again in a month or so and I’d like to think he’ll be very competitive.
His future definitely lies over fences, so if he keeps going the right way, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made up into a top novice next season.
It’s always nice to train a winner and we were lucky enough to get another one as Stick With Bill got the job done nicely on his debut for the yard.
He hasn’t shown us an awful lot at home, but I was really taken with his attitude during the race. He’s clearly very genuine and that’s such a valuable asset in a racehorse.
The way he galloped clear in the last two furlongs showed he’s got a fair amount of ability which really bodes well moving forward.
Daryl [Jacob] was pretty impressed with him and thought he was potentially capable of winning a similar race under a penalty in a few weeks’ time.
On the whole, I was pleased with how Bigmartre ran at Ludlow on Wednesday. It was a definite step in the right direction after his Newbury run.
He’s still not quite the horse of last season and he seems to be racing behind the bridle during his races.
The blunder at the second last cost us a place, but he jumped much better overall and you need to take the positives out of it.
It was always going to be a difficult task under that weight against those kind of horses, so it was very much a step forward.
The Christmas period is always very busy and we’ve got a number of horses entered.
Rouge Vif is scheduled to run in the class two novices’ hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day. The race has been won by plenty of good horses in the past and there are a number of promising novices entered this year.
We’re going to give it a try as he’s been given a handicap mark of 140, so we’re going to see if he’s up to this standard of race and we can then plan the rest of his season accordingly.
The form of his win at Southwell has been boosted and we’re looking forward to running him again.
On the same day, Johnny Rocco has a couple of entries. He took a massive step forward from his bumper form on his first start over hurdles at Plumpton earlier this month. Hopefully he can take another step forward and be competitive on Boxing Day.
Speedy Cargo is another who has entries in a few races. He gave it away on his last start at Sedgefield, but we’re learning more and more about him after each run and I’m hopeful he’ll be involved again.
The big race at Kempton on Boxing Day is one of the most open I can remember.
Almost all of the runners have decent claims of taking it, but if I had to side with one, I think it would be Waiting Patiently. Ruth [Jefferson] has been absolutely brilliant with the horse and you can only be rewarded by being patient with these staying chasers.
I think she’s given the horse every chance and while he hasn’t had a run this season, Ruth’s team will have him spot on. It would be fantastic for her and all her team if the horse could come out on top.