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Harry Fry: I’ll give Saturday’s prize money to Richard’s fund

26 Jan | BY Harry Fry | MIN READ TIME |
Harry Fry: I’ll give Saturday’s prize money to Richard’s fund

The National Hunt trainer pays his respects to Richard Woollacott's family as well as previewing a busy weekend of racing at Ascot, Doncaster and Uttoxeter.

I’d like to pass on my condolences to Richard Woollacott’s family.

Obviously it’s tragic news and we wish Beer Goggles and all his connections the very best in the Cleeve Hurdle. I’ll be cheering him on from the stands.

I see that his wife Kayley has set up an online fund in memory of Richard, with donations going to three good charities.

Hopefully they raise lots of money and I’ll be looking to contribute by donating the trainers’ percentage of any prize money we win on Saturday.

Amongst the winners last weekend

It was a good Saturday at Ascot last weekend with two winners, a second and a solid run from Kylemore Lough in the Clarence House.

We all knew we would be chasing home Un De Sceaux and ultimately it was a good run back in third.

Brain Power’s fall slightly hindered him and may have cost us any chance of grabbing second, but it was a nice run and we’ll go on from there.

Drumcliff has gone up 12lbs for his win. He’s clearly getting the hang of things and is a novice going the right way.

We’ve now got options to drop into an ordinary novice race or go down the handicap route, but we’re yet to have those discussions.

He’s a half-brother to Simonsig and although I’m not saying he could reach his level, he can continue to progress.

I was absolutely delighted with Air Horse One’s gutsy second in the Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle. I know we were second but it felt like a victory under that weight and in those conditions. It was a huge run.

I just feel sorry for the horse. He’s now been second in three really competitive handicaps and has gone up in the weights every time.

We might look to run him in the Grade 2 National Spirit at Fontwell instead of shouldering top-weight in another handicap. He’ll have his day in the sun before too long that’s for sure.

Although Ascot was a bit of a late plan for Acting Lass, it couldn’t have worked out better.

For the first part of the race he didn’t really look as though he was jumping or travelling that well, then they came down the back and he took the race up and won well.

He hasn’t got Cheltenham entries but we’re looking at either the Reynoldstown back at Ascot or the Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton later next month.

There’s also a valuable three-mile chase at Kempton on the same day as the Pendil which we’ll enter him for too. I’ve no worries about stepping him up to three miles so we have plenty of options.

American Gigolo wasn’t far away at the first time of asking on the Flat, and for all the time that ground conditions are as testing as they are we’ll keep him ticking over on the all-weather.

We made the most of the fact that Melrose Boy didn’t have to carry a penalty at Fontwell on Sunday. He’ll be entered for the valuable three-mile handicap hurdle at Sandown next Saturday.

Looking further ahead and he’ll be jumping fences next season, there’s no doubt about it.

Trials Day at Cheltenham

From my point of view, Trials Day at Cheltenham isn’t necessarily a prep for the Festival for my horses.

It’s going to be totally different ground to what we’ll get in March and the two horses I’m running don’t have entries as things stand.

I’m just treating it like another big Saturday.

American {ODDS:233293877:5/1} headlines for us in the Cotswold Chase (2.25pm).

If we were certain he was the horse of last season we’d think he’s have a great chance, but we’re more going their hoping, rather than knowing.

He’s doing everything fine and is well in himself, but we’ve said how fragile he is before and it may just be catching up with him.

His form from last year entitles him to be competitive but we’re definitely on a recovery mission. His future will hinge on the outcome of tomorrow’s race I think.

Litterale Ci {ODDS:233293909:SP} (4.10pm) was scheduled to run at Exeter in the week but the meeting was called off, so we decided to try her in this slightly more valuable race off a lightish weight and see how we get on.

She’s got to progress again, but she’s definitely on an upward curve. Hopefully she’s got a bit more up her sleeve.

Runners at Uttoxeter and Doncaster

Secret Door (3.30pm) jumped very well at Ludlow last time out but certainly has her own ideas about the game.

This race at Uttoxeter is a qualifier for a valuable Mares’ Challenger Series Final at Haydock in March, so while the ground may be a bit slower than ideal here, it’s all about trying to get her qualified.

The handicapper has definitely given her a chance but it’s more about getting her qualified, so wherever she finishes is a bonus.

Lastly, Ritas Bid {ODDS:233293629:SP} is a filly that we’ve been really pleased with at home and will run in the bumper (4.20pm) at Doncaster.

Of course until they actually run on the course you’re never quite sure how good or bad they are.

She’s been showing us all the right signs so hopefully she can be competitive.  

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Harry Fry

Dorset-based trainer with over 250 winners across both codes, including multiple Grade One races. 

Harry Fry

Dorset-based trainer with over 250 winners across both codes, including multiple Grade One races.