Harry Fry: Bags Groove has ideal profile for Silver Trophy
In his debut column, the leading National Hunt trainer previews his runners at Chepstow this weekend.
It’s great to have signed up with Betway to become an ambassador and I’ll be updating you every Friday on the chances of my weekend runners.
I’ll also be posting my thoughts during every major meeting so we have lots to look forward to.
This weekend at Chepstow is really the start of the proper winter jumps season and the recent rain in the air means that the ground will be perfect.
Exeter was like a carpet on Thursday and I’m expecting pretty perfect conditions at Chepstow too.
I run three on both Saturday and Sunday, and here are my thoughts on their chances.
Chepstow on Saturday
I have been really happy with Bags Groove at home and this Silver Trophy (16:10) has very much been the plan for him and Drumcliff since they came back in to us in July.
Bags Groove looks to have the ideal profile for the race being a second season hurdler and he progressed for us with every start last season.
He won twice for us at Taunton last year as well as finishing runner-up at Newbury twice.
His only blip came at Huntingdon where a bad blunder at the second last all but put him out of the race.
I’m really looking forward to seeing him back on the racecourse and hopefully he can go well.
As for Drumcliff, nothing seemed to go right for him last season and I’m thrilled he has sneaked in here at the foot of the weights.
He will be ridden by Niall Madden and I’m hoping that he can show his true colours on the racecourse and get the all-important luck he so deserves.
My only other runner at Chepstow on Saturday is Henryville in the handicap chase (16:45).
He won twice for us in the spring but has rocketed up in the weights as a result, so things haven’t been easy since.
The handicapper has slowly begun to bring him back down, but he is still 2lbs higher than his last winning mark so may need so more help.
Chepstow on Sunday
My first runner on Sunday is Black Mischief in the Persian War Novices’ Hurdle (14:50).
He won nicely when last seen in action at Warwick in May, but this will require another step up as he is in much deeper waters now.
I suppose we will find out a lot more about him here, but I’m looking forward to seeing him back in action.
Just like Henryville on Saturday, Shuil Royale (15:25) is another one of mine who could really do with some help from the handicapper.
He won really well at this time last year at Aintree off a 1lb lower mark so hopefully can go well.
It’s great that we have these veteran chases for grand old servants like him.
My final runner of the weekend is Misterton in the two mile handicap hurdle (16:00).
He improved with every start for us last season with the only blip being when he was pulled up at Cheltenham in December when we thought he had injured himself.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case and he rounded off last campaign with a good second at Exeter and a nice win at Wincanton.
He has shown us that he stays well, so a strongly run competitive two mile race like this should be spot on for him.