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It was a really pleasing effort by Adrimel in the Leamington Spa at Warwick last Saturday. We thought the step up in trip would suit and it certainly did. Although it was soft, he definitely handles even softer as he just thrives on that sort of ground when other horses can struggle.

There are no real plans at the moment. I’m sure he’ll be entered at Cheltenham, probably in the Ballymore and the Albert Bartlett. I’m sure Tom Lacey will consider all the options and know where to go next but he’s an exciting horse for the future, especially in staying chases.

It was nice to ride a double for Philip [Hobbs] at Newbury on Wednesday. We’ve had a bit of a quiet spell so hopefully that bodes well for this weekend.

Dostal Phil got the job done really nicely. You’re always hopeful going into a race like that but he hadn’t run for 10 months and it was his first time over fences so we were all delighted. He jumped well and hopefully there’s plenty of fun to be had with him.

Little River Bay also won well and that is three out of three for her this season. It was a good performance to win under a double penalty, she has a very likeable attitude.

Ascot, Saturday

VULCAN – 12.40pm

He was a fairly decent performer on the Flat for Harry Dunlop and has now been purchased by Dr Newland to go hurdling. Sam Twiston-Davies is going to Haydock so it’s a nice ride to pick up. I’ve spoken with Sam and he says his schooling at home has gone well. Hopefully he can put in a good run on his first start over hurdles.

WAR LORD – 1.50pm

He won a decent race two starts ago at Haydock so we know he won’t be inconvenienced by the soft ground. It’s a very open handicap but he’s a young horse who is still improving and I’d be hopeful of a big run.

CROSSLEY TENDER – 2.25pm

You’d love to own him. He’s had a fantastic season so far, winning four races since reappearing in October. He’s been very consistent and we just have to hope the handicapper hasn’t caught up with him yet. Paul Henderson does very well with his string and Crossley Tender looks to have a decent chance in another open race.

JERRYSBACK – 3.00pm

It’s his first run for over a year following a good performance in the Silver Cup at Ascot in December 2019. The drop back in trip shouldn’t be a problem on the ground and he looked a progressive horse at the start of last season. I don’t think we’ve seen his full potential yet, but he’s been off for quite a while and he’s obviously taking on match fit rivals in this.

DEFI DU SEUIL – 3.35pm

I schooled him on Wednesday and he really felt fantastic. With a two mile chaser you want them to be aggressive and attack their fences. He was just in very good heart, really enthusiastic with his schooling which has to be a good sign.

He actually travelled very well in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham last time but stopped quickly after the second last when we pulled up. He’s had plenty of time to get over that and has been thoroughly checked out. The vets are all happy and we’re full of hope he can return to his form from last year.

He won this race last year impressively when beating Un De Sceaux so we know conditions will suit. It looks competitive, though, and I’m sure Politologue will make it a truly run race. He won the Tingle Creek in December and obviously last year’s Champion Chase so he’s been in great form.

Waiting Patiently ran a fantastic race in the King George last time and we know that he’s a high class horse. If he’s in the same form as at Kempton he’ll be a real danger.


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