Harry Fry: Ascot ground is absolutely ideal for If The Cap Fits
The Betway ambassador assesses all his weekend entries and, with Noel Fehily confirmed on board, says this looks 'a nice opportunity' for If The Cap Fits.
Minella Awards was not beaten far in fourth in the novices’ chase at Cheltenham last Saturday.
It was a quick turnaround having won the Saturday before, and in hindsight it was probably a bit too soon, but it’s all good experience for him and he’s had three runs over fences now.
Having been on the go since the Galway Festival in August, he’s now going to have a bit of a holiday with a view to bringing him back fresh and well in the spring.
Looking at March, he could go for something like the four-miler or the Ultima at Cheltenham. Noel Fehily was actually very keen on the Irish National immediately after the race, too.
There are certainly some nice options for him in the spring.
It was simply a case of one run too many for Serosevsky, who was pulled up in a handicap hurdle on the Friday. He was well in need of a holiday and that’s exactly what he’s now getting.
Lalor has to go down as the highlight of the meeting having performed so well on his chase debut. It was a real display of authority and connections have a very exciting season to look forward to.
Winningiseverything was a nice winner for us at Market Rasen on Thursday.
He showed signs of inexperience through the race, but Noel gave him a lovely ride in behind horses before getting him to pick up in the straight.
We couldn’t have asked for a better start and he’s an exciting young horse for the future.
He’ll stick to bumpers for now and race again under a penalty before hurdling next season.
Ascot on Saturday
If The Cap Fits is our only runner at Ascot in the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle (14:40).
He schooled very nicely on Thursday morning with Noel, who narrowly avoided the headache of having to go to Haydock to ride Might Bite.
Thankfully by the time we knew we’d be running If The Cap Fits, it was clear that Nico de Boinville would be fit to ride Might Bite.
On ratings it looks between ourselves, We Have A Dream and Old Guard, and we’re getting weight from both of those.
It’s only two weeks after the Elite Hurdle, which is possibly a bit sooner that ideal, but this race would have had a different look if it had been soft ground and the Irish horses had come over, so we decided to let him take his chance.
You’ve got to weigh up a number of factors when picking a race - the opposition, the ground and the trip - and this looks a nice opportunity.
The ground will be absolutely ideal for him and, in terms of trip, this is exactly where we thought we’d be going so we’re looking forward to it.
I’m expecting he’ll be sharper over his hurdles than he was at Wincanton, which was his first run since Boxing Day and only his fourth start over hurdles.
Haydock on Saturday
Black Mischief takes his chance in a valuable handicap hurdle (13:50), with fellow Betway ambassador Richard Johnson taking the ride.
He doesn’t ride too often for us, but we’ve got a 50 percent strike rate from the four times we’ve teamed up and there certainly aren’t many better riders in the weighing room.
The horse capsized when in with a chance at Market Rasen last time out. We’ve given him some time to get over that fall and I think he can be competitive.
Frustratingly, the handicapper stuck him up two pounds in the week, so he’s got a career-high mark to contend with once again but he can run a big race for sure.
As for the Betfair Chase, it’s a fascinating renewal.
Nigel Twiston-Davies has been saying that Bristol De Mai isn’t simply a soft-ground bully, so you can’t rule him out, but you’d have to think it’s between the big two, Native River and Might Bite.
You could make a good case for Might Bite with ground conditions in his favour, but Native River with Dicky Johnson on board are a fearsome combination and a hard one to pass.
Exeter on Sunday
Mantovani makes his debut for us in the juvenile hurdle (3.20pm) having joined the yard over the summer.
He’s a half-brother to Soldier In Action, who has won some good races on the Flat for Mark Johnston and over hurdles for Nicky Henderson.
We’ve been pleased with what he’s shown us at home in his schooling and we’re hoping for a clear round first and foremost.
He’s a work in progress and whatever he does on Sunday he’ll build on.
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