Harry Fry: Acting Lass could run in any race at Kempton
The leading National Hunt trainer gives us an update on his plans for the coming weeks, with races at Aintree, Doncaster, Haydock and more.
Acting Lass schooled very well this morning.
Noel Fehily took him out and his view is the horse is in such good order that it wouldn’t matter which race we run him in at Kempton on Saturday.
The owners will come down to see the horse on Wednesday morning and we’ll make a decision which race we go for then.
At the moment, it really is 50/50 so we still need to weigh it up and see which race they’d most like to target.
We think he’s more than capable of handling the step up in trip to three miles in the Grade 3 Handicap Chase and that’s probably where his future lies.
While he’s still on the way up, maybe now’s the time to go for a race like that.
At the same time, the Grade 2 Pendil Novices’ Chase is going to be a small field, he looks well in and you’re only a novice once.
Benatar and Cyrname have the best form in the book but have to give us 5lbs at the same time.
The former beat Space Oddity earlier on in the season and I know Gary Moore rates him very highly.
As for Cyrname, he hasn’t done a lot wrong this season and would also be a danger, but we get weight from both and would have a strong chance.
The main thing is he is very well and Noel was delighted with him this morning.
It will all come down to which race the owners want to go for now. As far as I’m concerned he’d have a great chance in either.
Wotzizname is also in the three-miler but we have the option to go to Doncaster and run in the Grimthorpe Chase on 3 March.
What we do with Acting Lass is very likely to have an influence on what we do with Wotzizname.
I wouldn’t have thought we would run both in the same race but, again, that’s yet to be decided for sure.
Plans for Flat winner American Gigolo
American Gigolo won at Kempton on Monday night and after three starts we’re now qualified for a Flat rating.
He’ll be campaigned through the spring and we may look to Aintree for one of the handicap hurdles, but depending on what mark he gets on the Flat we could be swayed to keep running him in that sphere.
Behind Time set for Challenger Series Final
The ground was very testing at Ffos Las on Sunday and Behind Time found jumping out of it quite hard.
He’s now qualified for the Challenger Series Final at Haydock which is probably where he’ll go next.
Though he’s yet to win over fences, his last two runs have been promising and hopefully he’s off a fair mark.
Good prize money for Desert Queen at Huntingdon
We’ll be taking Desert Queen to Huntingdon for the valuable Listed Mares’ Chase on Thursday.
Thanks to the BHA development fund’s contribution of £25,000, prize money has been boosted to £75,000.
Credit to the BHA for promoting these mares’ races. From bumpers to hurdles and now chases, the races have improved dramatically over recent years and this is another step in the right direction.
Hopefully we can get our hands on the vast majority of the £75,000.
She hasn’t run for a while after going off like a scalded cat last time out at Market Rasen.
Mentally she seems in a slightly better place now but it all depends how she's feeling on the morning of the race.
Sunday’s Spirit for Air Horse One
Air Horse One is all set to run in the Grade 2 National Spirit at Fontwell on Sunday.
Lil Rockerfeller and Old Guard are the only horses rated higher than us and they have to carry penalties, so we get a weight pull against most of the horses in the race.
Air Horse One has been running very well in handicap company all season, going up 9lbs without winning any of his last four runs.
He also went up 3lbs while standing in his stable on one occasion, so it would be nice for him to get his head in front in a race like this. Hopefully Sunday is the day.