Brian Hughes: Richmond Lake has a nice chance back over hurdles
I’d first like to say that we’re all sending our thoughts and prayers to Graham Lee and we’re just hoping that he’s comfortable and we’re all supporting his family and praying. Although the nature of our sport means that we’re all competing against one another, racing is a close-knit community and when things aren’t going well for someone, racing always rallies around its people.
Friday at Doncaster
I’ve got a busy few days so I’ll try and pick out the best of my chances, starting with Guillaume (1:00 pm). Last time out he was third on his chase debut at Sedgefield, and we hope he’ll improve on that so fingers crossed he can go close.
In the next race, I’m on Easter Junction (1:35 pm), who’s going to make a return on a bit better ground than he got last time out in the maiden hurdle at Sedgefield last month. You’d like to think he’s got a nice chance of taking another step forward.
Saturday at Wetherby
Jungle Jack (12:44 pm) is a full-brother to a good two-mile chaser. It’s fair to say he’s a big, strong horse and he’s been schooling well. Although he has plenty of previous experience over hurdles, we’ve always looked at him as a chaser down the line so we’re excited. Despite not running since April, he’s as fit as he can be at the moment and we’re looking forward to the season ahead with him.
Richmond Lake (3:04 pm) will be back over hurdles racing off 7lbs lower than his chase mark and I’d like to think he’s probably one of my better rides at the weekend. We’ve gone back to hurdles with him just because of the lack of opportunity to run him, as he’s got a rating of 143. There aren’t many chases that he’s available to run in and we think he’s just ready to start now. We could go back over fences but then would need someone to run him against really, he needs the right track, and he needs to go left-handed.
I’ve also got good old Cornerstone Lad (1:54 pm), who likes Wetherby and will love the soft ground. He won early on last season there, so hopefully he goes well again.
Sunday at Cheltenham
Finally, on Sunday I’ll be on Daytona Beach (4:00 pm) for Rae Guest in the bumper. She had a good first run in the Listed bumper at Market Rasen on soft ground back in February of this year which was encouraging. I then won on her in July at Worcester, and I was pretty impressed with that effort. Looking ahead to Sunday, it’s a Listed bumper at Cheltenham so it’s not going to be a straightforward task, but hopefully, she can run well.