Brian Hughes: Look forward to Old Roan rematch at Huntingdon
I thought Minella Drama ran very well in the Old Roan considering the fences in the home straight were taken out. We were out in front and there to be shot at, particularly seeing as we were giving the winner 9 lbs. I’ve heard that Jetoile is planning on going to the Peterborough Chase, and so might we. We’ll have a 15lb turnaround for being beaten just over a length, so we’ll certainly be looking forward to taking him on again.
It was a good starting point and I hope he starts to get the respect he deserves. He’s probably always been a little bit underestimated, and that may be because he’s been tricky to manage at home, but he’s always had plenty of ability and this could be his season. He’s been a bit of a bull in a china shop at times, but he seems to be maturing nicely and we feel he should be winning a decent race this season.
Quick word for Busty Boy who won a novice chase at Kelso in the week. He jumped great and could improve plenty, so he’s one to keep on the shortlist.
Grain d’Oudairies went close up at Carlisle and would have won the race if it wasn’t for his error two out – hopefully, he’ll be winning a few this season.
I also think General Officer, who was a runner-up at Aintree on Sunday, is a winner-in-waiting. He bumped into a nice, and very expensive, horse in Master Chewy, but should be winning soon.
Friday at Wetherby
I’m looking forward to Famous Bridge (3:00 pm). He’s been schooling well at home and Nicky’s [Richards] horses are in good form. We’ve got to take on some nice horses like Shan Blue, but even he’s on a bit of a recovery mission whilst we’re on the improve, so fingers crossed.
Max Of Stars (2:25 pm) has been very consistent. She toughed it out well the last day to beat a horse of Milton Harris’ that’s come out and won since. This is her biggest task to date, so she will have to step up, but she’s a nice straightforward mare who goes there with every chance.
Rock Hurley (1:50 pm) has had a few niggles that Donald [McCain] now looks to have sorted, so hopefully we’ll finally see what we expected. He’s a horse we’ve still got plenty of faith in.
I don’t know too much about Carrigeen Castle (12:40 pm) in the opener, but he’s a winning pointer so a mark of 100 for his handicap debut over hurdles looks fair. I’ve had a bit of luck for Micky [Hammond] in the last few weeks, so fingers crossed.
Saturday at Ayr
The best of my seven at Ayr could be Sleeping Satellite (2:53 pm). He won a point-to-point, won his bumper and then his maiden hurdle, and he’s filled out nicely. He’s got every chance of getting his season off to a good start.
Then Royal Mogul (3:28 pm) is an ex-Pointer who won a couple last year and should improve over fences this season, so we’re looking forward to getting him started, though it does look a pretty hot contest.
My old mate Caius Marcius (1:42 pm) has always been very consistent and can hopefully go well again, but he wouldn’t want too much rain, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that.
And then Creative Control (1:07 pm) should run well but might be seen to best effect over further in time.