2nd December news

News from the gallops

With five of the string either having run last week or about to have a run tomorrow (see story below), it was a quieter than usual gallop rota that was presented to the assembled work riders before the crack of dawn today. So much so that the only horses that were 'worked' were Shades of Midnight (Pinky) with Baby Ticker (Callum). Both impressed, with Pinky allowing his galloping companion to set off several lengths in front at the foot of the gallop, joining at the 2 furlong marker and both quickened nicely towards the top.

Shades of Midnight has next Sunday's Paris Pike novice chase at Kelso on the agenda, while maybe a week on Thursday at Newcastle we could see Baby Ticker make a seasonal bow.

The rest of the string did gentle canters, light exercise or a couple of steady gallops Up-the-Middle.

Shady & Baby
Through the early morning murk appear Shades of Midnight & Baby Ticker


Four entered at Carlisle tomorrow (Sunday)

The discussion at breakfast soon turned to tomorrow's racing at Carlisle. There are four horses entered from Dodlands Steading, so when was the last time that happened?
Now Al Duncan has the air of a man with perfect recall of events in the 90s, but is pushed when quized about what he had for tea last night. He suggested that red letter day at Perth in the mid 90s, when Dodlands Steading housed a permit holder (now The Trainer) and three winners were sent out.  But it was a day much more recent, in April 2013, that Snapping Turtle, Ellistrin Belle, Sam Patch and King Kalium ran at Hexham, and a couple of these journeyed down the day before.

No such overnights needed for tomorrow at Carlisle, where Side of the Road, Paper Roses, Tomahawk Wood and Hartforth represent the yard. The advance going is soft (heavy places), with light showers forecast.

Side of the Road runs in the opening novice hurdle, and will start at long odds in this 2m 4f event. This run should see her qualify for a handicap mark, and we'd look for the mare to be more competitive in that type of race.

There are 5 races on the card which encompass the Northern Lights Series Finals, and the stable is represented in three of these 0-125 handicaps. They'll all be ultra competitive events, where a good case can be made for nearly all contenders.

Paper Roses (OR 112) is actually top weight in her Mares' handicap hurdle over 2m 4f which is not ideal as she is not an overbig sort, and the soft ground wouldn't be her favourite either. She's in good form though and probably represents our best chance of a winner on the card.
Next up, a couple of races later Tomahawk Wood runs in the 2m handicap hurdle final, off a feather weight of 9st 12lb. He didn't run well at Ayr last time, off a similar mark and on similar ground but we've let him take his chance as this Northern Lights Series is a fine initiative for horses in the 'modest' range.

Rounding the day off for Dodlands, in the penultimate Series Final, is that grand servant Hartforth who runs in the Stayers' Final. With Brother Ali nailing top weight with Fly Vinnie, our medium sized gelding will carry 10st 12lb taking Callum's allowance into consideration. Every ounce will count in the ground, and with Carlisle's stiff finish. The 9 year old is the winner of 5 hurdle races and has been best when fresh in recent seasons, so we've tailored his training regime with this race in mind. It's a hard race mind............

Good luck to The Smiths, Ian Aitken, Wee Davie, Fozzo & the rest of the Enduria Partnership and Donald Miller and his cronies from Jedburgh.
Have a super day!

 Katie leads Shady
Side of the Road leads Shades of Midnight

Sunday gallop
Paper Roses heads his stable companions on the gallops

Chuckie sandwiched
Tomahawk Wood (centre) sandwiched by a couple of mates


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