Harry Fry: Excited about American Gigolo in £100k Flat race
The leading National Hunt trainer reflects on a successful Saturday at Newbury, and previews a potentially lucrative weekend at Musselburgh.
Good old Bert
We were really pleased with Caribert in the valuable Goffs bumper at Newbury on Saturday. He got the job done well.
His nickname is Bert at home, even though I think his name should be pronounced Caribear!
We made no secret that we liked him. He won well on his debut at Wincanton and then bumped into a smart one next time at Exeter.
It was always the plan to keep him back for this and it’s nice when it comes off.
Noel Fehily was brilliant on him. There was no pace so he went on, which isn't easy at Newbury.
He kept pulling out more up the straight which showed how tough and genuine he is.
That’s him done for the season now. He’ll go novice hurdling next season and he’ll want stepping up in trip a bit.
He’s definitely one to watch and is a chaser in the making.
Both him and Bullionaire have been great for us this season and they’re owned by the same connections.
They’ve definitely got two smart novices to look forward to next season.
American Gigolo at Musselburgh
We’re excited to be running American Gigolo in the Queen’s Cup (3.35pm) at Musselburgh on Saturday.
I only had my first runner on the Flat last September and if you’d told me we’d be running a horse in a £100,000 handicap in March, I’d have looked at you a bit funny.
We ran this one on the all-weather simply because he couldn’t go on the ground over jumps.
He’s got a progressive profile and came out of Newcastle really well. He only went up 3lbs for that, which was fair, and got us into this valuable race.
We were thinking about the Chester Cup next, but we saw this and thought it was worth going for.
We’ve had to change the jockey as his weight is too light for Fran Berry. We’ve got Paul Hanagan, who certainly needs no introduction.
It will be his first ride for us so let’s hope it goes well. I certainly won’t be giving him any riding instructions.
I’m sure he’ll speak with Fran. Those two know a whole lot more than me about the Flat game.
This will be his turf debut on the Flat, but I don’t see any reason why he won’t be just as effective as he has been on the all-weather.
It’s another step up the ladder, but he’s going the right way and I’m sure he has a decent chance in what looks a wide-open race. The Chester Cup very much remains the plan after this.
Trudi Smith and Mickey Gee will be taking him up to Scotland on Friday ahead of Saturday’s race.
They took him all the way up to Newcastle and back, and their reward for that is a trip even further to Musselburgh. It should take them about nine hours.
Haydock on Saturday
We’ve got a couple of entries in the valuable Challenger Series at Haydock on Saturday, which has been a really good initiative for horses just below top class.
We were lucky enough to win the mares’ final (3.50pm) with Secret Door 12 months ago, and she was only rated 115 at the time.
If the rain arrives, we will probably let Lamanver Oddysey take her chance. She seems to be running back into form and hopefully she won’t be too far away.
Behind Time is set to run in the staying chase series final (3.15pm), as long as it keeps raining.
He won well last time at Uttoxeter and although he’ll have to step up again, he looks to have a strong chance on his current form.
Easter Monday options
We have a few entries on Easter Monday, but ground conditions will determine who runs.
Overtown Express could head to Chepstow - back over fences - after running over hurdles last time. He would enjoy the soft ground there.
We also have a couple of entries at Fairyhouse on Monday.
Kylemore Lough, who won the big Grade One novice chase there a couple of years ago might go in the Grade Two Chase on Monday.
We’ve then got Air Horse One in the Grade Two 2m4f hurdle. We’re yet to sit down with the owners and make a decision, but we might send them over.
Nothing decided with American
There are no immediate plans with American. If it came up soft at Aintree he could go for the Betway Bowl, while if conditions were right at Punchestown we could head there.
We’ll just have to wait and see what the weather does, and how he is.