Harry Fry: Removal of the hood should wake up Winston C
The Betway ambassador discusses an "unusual" Friday that is seeing him deploy one horse over hurdles at Cheltenham and another on the Flat at Doncaster.
Thankfully Bags Groove came to our rescue last weekend on what was turning out to be a bad afternoon.
Having watched Outofthisworld unseat at Market Rasen, Firmage Burg refuse to race at Ffos Las and Black Mischief fall when in with a real chance back at Market Rasen, I wasn’t that optimistic about Bags Groove.
Luckily, he put the experience of his chase debut at Uttoxeter in May to good use and got the job done nicely even though they didn’t all complete.
He could have a race like the Grade Two Rising Star Novices’ Chase at Wincanton on his radar now.
An away day at Kempton
I took some of our team including If The Cap Fits and American to Kempton on Thursday to stretch their legs on the all-weather.
At this time of year, I normally take a few for an away day at either Wincanton or Exeter but the ground is just too rattling quick around us.
Taunton is only 40 minutes up the road and they had to abandon their meeting earlier this week because the ground is too fast, which says it all.
They will all hopefully come forward for the experience although you won’t see American for a bit until we get some decent winter ground.
An obvious race on the radar for him would be the Cotswolds Chase back at Cheltenham in January, but before then we’ll just be on the lookout for his ideal ground.
As for If The Cap Fits, a race like the Greatwood is still a potential target for him.
One on the Flat and one over hurdles on Friday
It’s an unusual day as I’ve one over hurdles at Cheltenham and the other on the Flat at Doncaster.
Golden Birthday will carry top weight in the 2m5f handicap hurdle (3.10pm) which will be a tough task.
He’s probably best watched until he gets a bit more of a break from the handicapper as he showed at Chepstow last time.
On the Flat up at Doncaster, Winston C has his second run for us in the 1m6½f handicap (4.10pm).
He seemed to fall asleep in the hood we put on him at Beverley on his debut for us last month, so we have taken it off this time.
Hopefully that will wake him up and he can go well if reproducing some of his best form on the Flat.
Newbury on Saturday
Press Gang will take his chance in the lady amateur riders’ handicap (5.05pm) at Newbury on Saturday.
He’s been running okay without winning on the all-weather at Kempton and switches to the turf where he can race off a mark of just 62.
We’re hoping he has a bit of a chance in what looks a competitive race as he seems in good form.
Aintree on Sunday
Again, we will be keeping a close eye on the weather before deciding if we have any runners on Sunday.
We have both Deadringerforlove and Misty Whisky entered in the mares’ bumper (4.10pm) that closes Aintree’s card.
Both are exciting prospects for the future, but we would want to start them off on the right ground.