Our jumps horses are just beginning to step up a gear and we have seven runners across the next two days, starting with Elmono at Cartmel this afternoon. A winner at the course last summer, he has been a little below form the last twice, but we are optimistic that the fitting of the first-time tongue tie will help him to take a step back in the right direction.
The first of our sextet at Hexham tomorrow is Izzy’s Champion. ‘Champ’ didn’t enjoy the best of times last season, but he has had a good three months to freshen up and we are looking forward to getting him back on track. Tomorrow perhaps won’t be his day as he returns over a trip short of his optimum, but it should set him up perfectly for the season ahead.
Methodtothemadness takes her chance against just four rivals in the 2m4f novice handicap chase. She needs to put a flat run at Cartmel behind her, but prior to that she was an impressive 11-length winner over course and distance and a reproduction of that would give her leading claims.
We run three in the 3m handicap chase, with Patrick’s 10 lb claim helping to offset Prince Dundee’s welter burden of 12 stone 5 pounds. ‘Dundee’ adores Hexham having recorded all three career wins over course and distance and has definite each-way claims. Katalystic too has run well at Hexham in the past and we are hopeful that stepping back up in trip will help him to recapture his best. Flutter Down has been disappointing, but he is entitled to improve for his recent chasing debut and he certainly has more ability than his current handicap mark would suggest.
Finally, Bayfriars Bobby moves up to 3m to contest the concluding handicap hurdle. He has yet to build on his initial promise, though he remains lightly raced and has the benefit of first-time cheekpieces.