Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Weekend Review

05-November-2023 17:18
in General
by Admin

Despite the inclement weather and early morning inspection, there was a healthy crowd in attendance for the Charlie Hall meeting at Wetherby. Irish trainer Mouse Morris has enjoyed success at the A1 track in the past - 4 winners from 11 runners - including Boss Doyle winning the West Yorkshire Hurdle a couple of times. The Grand National winning handler landed the track's biggest prize when Gentlemansgame edged out last year's winner Bravemansgame by a length and three lengths. Heading to the final fence, Paul Nicholls' triple Grade 1 winner looked all set to reclaim his crown but took off too early and banked the fence - not too dissimilar to Kauto Star in the King George all those years ago - and handed the initiative to the Irish raider. Ironically, the runner-up had jumped and travelled beautifully until that point. While many weren't impressed with Harry Cobden's effort, I wouldn't be in a rush to criticise him because it was the eight year old's first run of the season and the King George is very much his first priority. I still maintain Paul Nicholls did the right thing running at Wetherby because he had waited for the Betfair Chase at Haydock three weeks later, he would have only had 31 days until Boxing Day. Three and a quarter miles at Haydock in a bog could have taken the edge off him. 

There were slim pickings for the Top 40 Prospects on Saturday but the Unraced Bumper section unearthed a promising type in Celtic Dino (7/2) at Ascot. Trained by Sam Thomas, the four year old is a half-brother to Saint Segal and virtually made all the running under Sam Twiston-Davies. The Doctor Dino gelding could return to the Berkshire track for the Listed bumper before Christmas. The section needed had an across the card double with Junker D'Allier failing by a nose to score on his racecourse bow at Ayr. 

Winners in One Jump Ahead on Saturday included Boothill (7/2), Botox Has (15/2), Celtic Dino (7/2), Cherie D'Am (6/5), Everyday Champagne (9/1), Knickerbockerglory (10/1), Little Miss Dante (11/8), Primoz (15/2) and You Wear It Well (2/1).

There were better fortunes for the Top 40 on Sunday with Dunnet Head (9/4) living up to his owner's expectations in the two miles one handicap hurdle at Carlisle. Speaking to Ray Green in August, he felt the five year old is one of the best handicapped horses he has had for many years. Making his handicap debut off an opening mark of 106, the Sholokhov gelding underwent wind surgery during the summer. Still looking raw, Craig Nichol's mount was forced to dig deep after the last but was always holding the runner-up to register a length and three quarters victory. Given his relatively narrow margin win, the assessor can't over reacted and once stepping up in trip, he can remain ahead of the handicapper. There should be plenty more to come from Iain Jardine's winner over two and a half miles plus. 

Jonjo O'Neill was on the mark at the Cumbrian venue with Johnnywho maintaining his unbeaten record in the opening two and a half miles novice hurdle. The former pointer never came out of second gear to beat the 125 rated Moon D'Orange by a couple of lengths. Expect him to contest another run of the mill novice before stepping up in class. One concern is the fact he is nearly seven and has only raced on three occasions, plus he wore a tongue tie on his hurdles debut. However, if kept in one piece, there is no doubt the J.P.McManus owned runner possesses a fair engine. The Jackdaws Castle team rounded off the card with an impressive win in the bumper courtesy of Mister Meggit. Owned by Hemmings Racing, I am looking forward to catching up with racing manager Mick Meagher at Aintree next Saturday because the five year old looked a high-class prospect.

Winners in One Jump Ahead on Sunday included Dunnet Head (9/4), Houston Texas (9/2), Jack Spratt (11/4), Johnnywho (4/5), Mofasa (5/4), Take No Chances (9/4) and Thunder Rock (11/8).

I am continuing to work on the November Update, which will be emailed to clients on Thursday 16th November. If you haven't ordered the Updates, please head to the Publications section of the site.


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