Harry Fry: Unowhatimeanharry has race fitness on his side
The leading trainer weighs up his horse's chances against Thistlecrack in the Long Distance Hurdle, as well as his four other Friday rides at Newbury.
We were delighted with Mr One More at Ascot last weekend, who kept his unbeaten record intact despite making mistakes at the last couple of hurdles.
He showed a good attitude to knuckle down and get the job done.
He’s still a work in progress and needs to improve over his obstacles, but hopefully the more practice he gets, the better he’ll be.
We’ll look to step him up in both grade and trip next time but he’ll remain in novice company. I don’t think he’s going to want deep, winter ground as he has a good, low action.
We’re a long way off Cheltenham at the moment but he’s going the right way.
Minella Awards was fine after being pulled up at Haydock on Saturday. He absolutely hated the ground, it was desperate and he never went a yard on it.
It’s a shame that they’ve got such great prize money on offer on such bad ground.
There’s been plenty said on wind ops going public as of next year.
To be honest, I have no problem with sharing the information – it’s no skin off my nose.
The punters want the information but do they know what to do with that information, in terms of what it really means?
As I say, it’s no skin off my nose and it is what it is.
Newbury on Friday
I’ve got four at Newbury on the Friday, starting with Hell’s Kitchen in the novices’ chase (12.50pm).
We were pleased with his comeback run at Uttoxeter after nearly a year off.
He’s come on nicely for that outing and we thought a big left-handed galloping track like Newbury would be ideal.
Two miles is still on the sharp side for him, but with him running keenly in his races last year we were keen to stick to the minimum trip.
Newbury will play to his strengths and hopefully he’ll take another step forward tomorrow.
Space Oddity has been running well and just bumped into a smart one of Gary Moore’s last time at Ascot.
He’s gone on to win again since so his form looks solid ahead of the 2.25pm.
We’re keen to go for a good handicap like this while we’re still on the way up. He’s in very good form and we’re hopeful of a big run.
On to the Long Distance Hurdle at 3.00pm and Unowhatimeanharry versus Thistlecrack is a fascinating clash!
I think the 6lbs that we’re giving away is playing its part in the positioning of the market.
Aside from that, we’ve got a run under our belt already this season and Colin Tizzard has made no secret that this is very much a prep run for Thistlecrack.
Our horse came out of Aintree absolutely bouncing and we’re really looking forward to the race.
Thistlecrack is a hugely talented horse and, even if he’s not fully wound-up, he’s a formidable opponent to try and beat.
Arguably our biggest strength is the fact we’ve had a run. We’ve got race fitness on our side and that could count for a lot.
Funnily enough, Thistlecrack’s owners are also part-owners of Whataknight who I run in the next race at 3.35pm.
He was going backwards at home with his schooling over fences so we’re still over hurdles.
He ran a nice race a few weeks ago in a Pertemps Qualifier, but to be perfectly honest the ground is going against him at this time of year and he’s got top weight.