Brian Hughes’ blog 13/10/23 – First National fence could be moved closer
Brian Hughes’ blog 13/10/23 – Grand National
Nobody likes change, but there’s nothing about the Grand National changes to be too negative on and I suppose for the safety of the race they’ve got to tweak things.
Personally, I would have moved the start even closer to the first fence. In the Topham, for example, it’s not as long a run to the first, so you’re not travelling at such a speed, and that feels safer. In the few falls I’ve had at the first in the National, it’s usually because you’re all going too fast down to the first, so that’s something they might want to keep reviewing.
I don’t see the reduction from 40 to 34 runners making a huge difference. I haven’t looked at all the stats, but obviously they feel it’s the right way to go.
Thankfully, they aren’t massive changes, but hopefully they will improve the safety of it, and we’ve all got to embrace it.
Brian Hughes’ blog 13/10/23 – Saturday at Hexham Racecourse
Some of the tracks have been watering and now there’s plenty of rain about, so unfortunately a lot of trainers haven’t declared. There’s nothing we can do about that and it will just be a quiet weekend.
I’ve still got a couple of chances at Hexham, firstly with All Ways And Ever (1:35pm). He was second in a maiden hurdle in Ireland, so you’d hope a reproduction of that would give him a good chance. It’s a bit of a hit and hope as I don’t know too much about him, but it doesn’t look the strongest race and he has a fair level of form.
Bandit D’Ainay (4:35pm) ran okay at Perth over 2m4f last time, but coming back to 2m on heavy ground is probably more his thing. He’s got no weight on his back and this doesn’t look a very strong heat, so I’m hoping he’s got some sort of chance.
Brian Hughes’ blog 13/10/23 – Fences for Rare Edition
Connections of Rare Edition look like they’re going to wait for Wetherby on Wednesday instead of running him at Ffos Las this weekend.
I’ve been down to Charlie’s [Longsdon] to school him and he felt good. I gave him a couple of canters and popped him over some fences. Touch wood, he’s looking like a nice one for the season ahead. He’s always been a good jumper and everyone has always felt that chasing is going to be the making of him, so I’m excited about seeing him out again.