Waiting Patiently (and Cyrname)
Aintree could be on the agenda for WAITING PATIENTLY after he skipped the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in order to be fresh for his next run. Ruth Jefferson's talented Chaser has had an underwhelming season best summed up by an early unseat in the 32Red King George. He was beaten by Cyrname at Ascot and, needing time between his races, connections opted to swerve Cheltenham. He's a horse of immense ability and should be feared wherever he turns up next. The same applies to Cyrname also, but expect to see him at a right-handed track such as Sandown Park
RATHVINDEN won at last year's Cheltenham Festival but has had one target this time around, the Grand National. With stamina proven and a very reasonable racing weight allotted for Aintree's big one, he simply has to be in with a chance next month. The National Hunt Chase has produced horses like Tiger Roll, Native River and Minella Rocco in recent years and Willie Mullins is certainly someone who knows how to get a horse ready for a big day! Oppose at your peril…
What a race!
Rathvinden battles ahead of Ms Parfois up the Cheltenham hill to win the National Hunt Chase.
A treble on the far for @WillieMullinsNH.
— JumpsRacing.co.uk (@jumpsracingcouk) March 13, 2018
FUSIL RAFFLES was one of the most impressive winners of the calendar year when streaking away from a reasonable field in the Grade 2 Adonis at Kempton Park but victory was bittersweet with the horse suffering a nasty cut that day. He was quickly ruled out of Cheltenham but it could be a blessing in disguise as he could turn up at Aintree fresher than his rivals. He clearly acts on flat tracks, is in the capable hands of Unibet ambassador Nicky Henderson and could actually be the one to beat in the Grade 1 4yo race at the famous three day meeting. Is a clash with Pentland Hills and Band Of Outlaws too much to ask for!?
It was a 5th win in the The 888Sport Adonis Juvenile Hurdle for @sevenbarrows and a barnstorming British debut from Fusil Raffles yesterday
How do you think he'll get on if he runs in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival? pic.twitter.com/qwSDc4lpRc
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) February 24, 2019
There's something really exciting about an unbeaten horse racking up a sequence and EMITOM has done exactly that. He's been well minded by his experienced handler but the race he won most recently at Newbury was respectable and he's now rated 144 and unbeaten in five runs. Aintree appears to be on the agenda and he looks ready for a step up in class. Warren Greatrex has showered this horse with all sorts of plaudits in the past few months – and he defintely knows a good one!
Another talented horse that has been minded by Warren Greatrex is dual Grade 1 winning chaser LA BAGUE AU ROI. The form of her Kempton win took the ultimate boost when Topofthegame fended off Santini in the RSA Chase and what a mouthwatering Mildmay it would be if all three turn up. The 8yo mare would arrive fresh and has already beaten both this season – who's to say she can't land yet more spoils, and scalps, at Aintree!?
La Bague Au Roi wins an exciting 32Red Kauto Star Novices' Chase! pic.twitter.com/LwqO5xvAlb
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) December 26, 2018
Speculative perhaps but SAMCRO was reportedly very close to making it to the Cheltenham Festival only to run out of time. He was reportedly pleasing his shrewd handler Gordon Elliott once again and is seemingly thought of as highly as any horse in the yard. There's both a three mile and a two and half mile Grade 1 at Aintree and Samcro might just slip in under the radar for a trainer who's more than happy to travel his horses over to the UK. He will be a fascinating contender wherever he turns up next!