We will start with some royal racing club news this week, our members have
been informed that we have signed a contract with the team who have
developed the racing manager app, this app will help keep members even
more up to date with news on the club horses. The app provides fast access to entries, timeform race preview and review, pedigree updates, Trainers voice updates the evening before a race, for more details on the racing manager app visit www.theracingmanager.com
Racing action at the weekend saw Newbury take centre stage with the eagerly awaited return of Altior, having not raced since November when Cyrname beat him by 2.25 lengths over his first and only attempt at the 2 mile 5 furlongs trip.
On Saturday he was certainly ring rusty with some of his jumping and supportersmaybe got a bit of a fright when Nico de Boinville started to push along from 2 out, but he only got serious and reached for his whip after the last and Altior responded with a burst of speed to clear away from his rivals to win by 3.25 lengths , trainer Nicky Henderson was pleased to get the race out of theway and said there will be plenty of improvement in the 2 time winner of the queen mother champion chase , who will now prepare to win his 3 rd. queen mother champion chase in 4 weeks time. He will need to be at his very best at Cheltenham if he is to fend off the challenge of the young gun Defi du seuil.
Richard Johnson recently broke his arm after a fall on the track, he had towatch what would have been his intended mount in the Betfair Denman Chase from the stand, the horse in question being Native River a former winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup was ridden by the young kid in town Jonjo O’Neil Jnr ,
Being from such a good family the young jockey didn’t let the pressure of the big occasion get to him, he made his tactics known from the start when he popped off in front for the event just shy of 3 miles , he jumped smoothly and never looked in danger of getting beat, he will return to Cheltenham for another crack at the Gold Cup. Richard Johnson does hope to be back from injury to take the ride but if not I am sure young Jonjo would retain the ride.
The Betfair Hurdle grade 3 with 24 runners around a tight course like Newbury was fast paced race but there was a false start at first attempt which means with new rules they had to do a standing start, this left likeable front runners on the back foot from the beginning, Never Adapt was pulled up after the first hurdle and was found to be lame behind on post race vet report, with the race hotting up going to the last hurdle and half the field in contention saw Lightly Squeeze take a fall and bringing down the improving pair of Mack The Man along with Harmabe , this then left the finish to be fought out by a Willie Mullins trained runner Ciel De Neige who was very well supported in the betting from big prices along with a 33-1 shot for Paul Nicholls in Pic D’orhy who having been bought from France was well thought off but had yet to show any real sort of form until now, Pic D’orhy dug deep to fend off the Irish runner and has now possibly earned himself a supplement into the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The weather is wreaking havoc on racing fixtures on both side of the sea. Storm Ciara claimed important cards at Exeter and Punchestown, Fairyhouse and Clonmel were also lost this week.
Fingers crossed this weekend’s racing survives Storm Denis and we get to see the return of tiger roll in the grade 2 Lismullen hurdle at Navan.
It remains to be seen if connections will allow him to take his chance at emulating the mighty Red Rum in the Aintree Grand National. If his preparation goes smoothly, it would be tough for them to resist come April.