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Looking back at Newbury last weekend, Kalooki ran well in the handicap chase – he did very little wrong. We thought dropping back in trip was the right thing to do because he hadn’t got home over three miles on his last couple of starts. But 2m3f round Newbury on good ground was just a bit sharp for him, I was always in top gear. He was staying on but we could have done with another furlong or two.

He’s a young, immature horse and he’ll get better with age. He’s definitely one to look out for next season.

It’s been a quiet week but we’re busy at Newton Abbot on Saturday with seven rides.

Newton Abbot, Saturday        

TRAILBOSS – 1.55pm Newton Abbot

It’s nice to pick up a ride for Fergal O’Brien and this horse has done pretty well on the Flat, winning last time out at Kempton in October 2019. Funnily enough the first run of his life was in a bumper but he’s been on the Flat since then and now goes over hurdles. Fergal always has his horses well-schooled so he’s sure to know what he’s doing. He’s been off the track for a long time but hopefully he still goes there with a decent chance.

RONDE DE NUIT – 2.30pm Newton Abbot

He’s ran okay in his first three starts for Philip [Hobbs] but I suppose he’s been a bit disappointing. This will be his first start in a handicap, though, off what looks a reasonable mark, so it should be a bit easier for him. He gets the four-year-old allowance as well so let’s hope he runs a good race.

FOREVER DES LONG – 3.40pm Newton Abbot

He has run really well on his last two starts, just getting beaten at Ludlow two starts back and then at Fontwell the other day. He is very consistent and we think he has a good chance. Harry Fry’s Our Surprise looks the main danger but I’d be hopeful of a big run.

AULD SOD – 4.15pm Newton Abbot

He had some good form last summer and enjoys it around Newton Abbot. This looks a very open race but Philip is very happy with him at home. If he can reproduce some of his form from last summer he should go close.

WINTER GETAWAY – 4.52pm Newton Abbot

She ran very well over hurdles at Hereford last month, staying on strongly so this 3m2½f trip should suit. I’d expect her to have come on for that run and fingers crossed she goes there with every chance.

BROTHER TEDD – 5.25pm Newton Abbot

What a fantastic old horse he’s been. He enjoys decent ground and generally runs well in the spring. He’s come down the handicap a bit which is obviously a help and this race should be ideal for him. We’d be pretty hopeful of a big run.

HEDGEINATOR – 6.00pm Newton Abbot

I won on him a couple of years ago and he’s won round the track before. Hopefully he’s in good form and I think he has a good each-way chance in a wide open race.

Champion Jockey

Every trainer is going to support their jockey but when he’s your brother you’re going to throw everything you can to try to make him champion and that’s what Dan [Skelton] is doing. Harry [Skelton] has got a great chance and their horses are flying at the moment.

I can see it going down to the last week. Brian [Hughes] will be riding for lots of different trainers up in the north and he’ll ride plenty of winners. Harry Cobden has a bit of work to do, so at the moment it looks between Harry S and Brian.

Considering the form of the Skelton yard, I’d just be leaning towards him, but I wish them all the best of luck.


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