Harry Fry: The ground looks perfect for Bags Groove
The Betway ambassador fancies his horse's chances at Ffos Las in what looks like "the strongest novice chase run so far this season".
Looking back on the week
It was the perfect introduction to chasing for Just A Sting at Uttoxeter on Thursday.
We felt he was well treated on 125, after a season in which we never managed to catch the ground he wanted.
We always knew he would make a better chaser and he’s started off on the right foot. Noel Fehily gave him a lovely ride.
It will be exciting to see how far he can progress. I’m not afraid to step him up to three miles in due course and we’ll look for another novices’ handicap soon.
It was very pleasing to see him win and hopefully he has plenty of improvement left in him.
More than anything, last weekend confirmed that Chepstow is not one of our luckiest tracks.
Definitelyanoscar crashed out in the mares’ novices hurdle. Thankfully she and Noel are both fine. She is well, and we look forward to getting her back out in a couple of weeks’ time.
We knew both Dashing Oscar and Golden Birthday were going to struggle off their current ratings in the Silver Trophy.
As for Minella Awards, he’s a tricky one. We always train him with the spring in mind as he always seems to thrive that time of year.
He tends to go off the boil a bit when Autumn comes around, so we’ll just look to get some experience into him over fences and then plan ahead for later in the season.
Ffos Las on Saturday
Firmarge Burg runs in the mares’ maiden hurdle (2.45pm).
She’s progressed with each run over hurdles so far and is heading the right way.
She’s yet to get her head in front. We’re not looking at the finished article yet, but we’re getting there.
Bags Groove lines up in the novice chase (3.55pm), which I think looks like the strongest novice chase run so far this season.
You’ve got the likes of Coole Cody, No Comment and Vision Des Flos, and that’s just a few of them.
People talk about small-runner novice chases, but this is the complete opposite with plenty of strength and depth.
The ground looks perfect for us and we’ve got a run under our belt.
Hopefully that bit of extra experience will stand him in good stead. We’re looking forward to seeing him in action.
Market Rasen on Saturday
Aine O’Connor rides both Outofthisworld and Black Mischief.
Outofthisworld goes in the mares’ novices hurdle (1.40pm). She won her bumper at Market Rasen but then the rest of the season didn’t go at all to plan for her.
You can put a line through her run at Huntingdon as she wasn’t right after that. She’s in better nick now.
She’s had a nice break and will come on nicely for the run. She jumps really well and I’m hoping we’ll be in the shake-up.
Black Mischief won last time out at Kempton, and he’s gone up a bit in the handicap as a result, but Aine takes some weight off and hopefully he can get competitive again in the two-and-a-half mile handicap hurdle (2.40pm).
We’ll take a view after the race as to whether we look at go novice chasing.
Sunday at Kempton
Space Oddity, who is my sole runner on Sunday, makes his seasonal reappearance in the 2m2f handicap chase (3.40pm).
To be honest, it’s still good, good-to-firm there which is probably just a bit too lively for him.
Update on If The Cap Fits
We’ll take If The Cap Fits away next week for a canter, and then look at the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton and the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham.
His recovery and preparation has been very good and we’re just a couple of weeks away from his reappearance.