We were delighted to see Newtown Lad bounce back to form to be a close second at Newcastle this afternoon. Jumping well he was in the front two throughout and was just denied by a hardened course lover. Having had the full team here working hard to put his issues behind him, he rewarded them and his owners with a good round of jumping and he will be sharper again for this run. He has an entry in the Grand National Trial at Haydock and will also look for some other staying chases. He is pictured.
We have a good team going to Ayr tomorrow, with another mix of young talent and proven handicappers.
The novice hurdlers, Behindthelines, Saint Freule and Chasser Des Tetes all have experience under rules. Behindthelines feels to have improved at home since his hurdles debut and if he can build on it then he has a nice chance. Saint Freule settled better last time in a Listed race and while he faces two horses with good ratings he should improve on what he has shown so far, and Chasseur Des Tetes is slowly getting stronger at home and should learn more again tomorrow.
The filly, Topham Bay, has been running to a level for the last few races and we are likely going to try more prominent tactics tomorrow.
We have two well-liked handicap chasers, over three miles is Shanroe Street while two and a half miles will be far enough for Present Flight on his return from a long spell off games. Shanroe Street has plenty of stamina and is a course winner, while Present Flight will be looking for a clear round and a good start to his spring campaign.
Finally, we run the bumper five year old Precious Cargo. He lacks experience having not run before in a bumper nor point to point and is a good tall gelding.