The Aintree Team
Cyrius Moriviere has had a very frustrating season. I wanted to give him a chance in a top class 2 mile hurdle early in the year and he just didn’t quite have the speed over the last 2 furlongs but still ran well to finish mid-division. I always thought he was would be a much better chaser than hurdler but what followed has been a catalogue of errors none of which were his fault! He is the most superb jumper even though his form may not look like it. He is running in the 2m4f Manifesto Novice Chase. Being a Grade 1 he will be up against some very smart novices but if we could nick some place money I would be over the moon. I don’t want to win a run of the mill novice chase this late in the season and take him out of Novices for next year as I think he could well be quite progressive with a clear run.
Raven's Tower has had a good year winning at Aintree early in the season and has been running well but coming down the handicap to a mark we know he is competitive off of. He seems in great form at home and will be well suited by the drying ground. There is no doubt this will be a very competitive race but he could well be competitive himself.
A Hare Breath didn’t really run much of a race at all in the Arkle at Cheltenham and I have decided to give him a run back over hurdles as a confidence booster. He may well still have a future over fences but he didn’t seem to enjoy the speed they went in the Arkle and he is better off in the handicap over hurdles. If he can reproduce his form when finishing 4th in the Greatwood then he should run a big race. He runs in the 2m4f Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle on Friday.
Carlos Du Fruitier has been in great form this season, winning nicely at Warwick first time out before finishing second at Newcastle. He was only beaten 2 lengths that day on very heavy ground giving a stone to the winner who is a nice type as well. He deserves his chance in the line-up and is flying at home. He is a tough as they come and will run a big race on ground that will suit him well.
Leoncavallo ran a much better race in the Coral than he had the two previous runs and I think a step up to 3 miles is right up his street. He was a good juvenile and quite often they need a trip as they get older. If the extra distance brings out further improvement in him then he could be competitive in the 3m Gaskells handicap Hurdle on Saturday.
Creep Desbois has been improving all season. He was aimed at the EBF final but unfortunately pulled muscles behind about 10 days before. He is a now back to his best and is entered in both the 2m4f and 3m handicap hurdles. I think he would be ok over both trips and where we go will be decided on which race he will get in. He needs horses to come out of both races and isn’t certain to get into either but if he does I think he could be well handicapped although a novice stepping into handicaps of this calibre is never easy. He is a horse who will only improve in the next few years and will jump a fence as well.
I blame myself for High Bridge's slightly disappointing run in the Supreme as I asked Alex to give him daylight in such a fast run race. Unfortunately, a lot were keen to be handy and we ended up 5 wide and you can’t expect a horse to go that wide and pick up. He jumped well and although he travelled well I thought he looked like a horse that would relish an extra ½ mile so now runs in the 2m4f Mersey. He seems well at home and I hold him in high regard and it would be great to see him run well if Cheltenham hasn’t left its mark.
I hold Le Breuil in high regard and am looking forward to seeing him in Grade 1 company for the first time. It is most likely that he will run in the 2m4f Mersey Novice Hurdle on Saturday. I think he would defiantly stay the 3 miles but he has plenty of speed and at this stage of his career I don’t think he needs to go further than he has too. He is a very accurate and fast jumper and he will love the ground.