Wolf Of Windlesham looks intent on tackling the Keltbray Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday for Tyringham trainer Stuart Edmunds.
The five-year-old chestnut suffered a slight hiccup forcing him to miss last weekend’s Lanzarote Hurdle (£22,870) at Kempton Park over 2m 5f won by Barry Geraghty on Modus but Edmunds said: “This is actually a more valuable race.”
He added: “Wolf Of Windlesham was travelling well at Cheltenham in November in a race where Modus was second, when he came down in the closing stages.
“We couldn’t believe he was such a big price.”
Since then, the son of Mastercraftsman has been second on the all weather at Kempton but has been given a chance to freshen up after running back over timber at Ascot before Christmas.
Edmunds is also optimistic a pair of warblers will soon give his stables something to chirp about... Grey Warbler has been pencilled in for a National Hunt Flat race Hereford on Sunday in the executor colours of the late Renee Robeson with Edmunds remarking: “Mrs Robeson bred both the sire (Notnowcato) and the dam (Cetti’s Warbler).”
Meanwhile, Grey Warbler’s half brother Pine Warbler, a respectable sixth to Perfect Pirate at Towcester in December, may be spotted at Chepstow on Friday if he didn’t perform at Market Rasen on Wednesday in handicap company.
With Land League due to go to Ludlow today if he didn’t join Pine Warbler at Market Rasen, punters should also keep a close eye on Beneficial mare Maria’s Benefit, Sneaking Budge and Chandos Belle in the near future, while the speedy winner Elusive Cowboy remains interesting on the flat. Bought to go jumping, he hated soft ground at Warwick.
HORSES saddled by Holdenby North Lodge handler Caroline Bailey are currently running well without getting into the winner’s enclosure.
That may have changed with Noble Legend at Market Rasen on Wednesday although the 10-year-old is getting a little ‘cute’ with experience, and hasn’t been one to rely on of late.
Trainer’s husband Gerald Bailey said: “We have had second places with the likes of Dig Deeper and Crosspark so we are not unduly concerned, although obviously we would like a winner.”
Bailey enjoyed a change of tack on Saturday night, hosting a party of 27 staff and partners from his dairy business, and sampling Towcester’s greyhound hospitality into the bargain. He remarked: “It was the first time I had been. It gave us a lot of pleasure and I am pleased to be able to say that.”
Bailey’s extensive network meant he couldn’t avoid a racing connection, bumping in to the former jump jockey Jimmy Derham who was standing in for regular racecourse ‘MC’ Roger Hart.
Racing dates for your diary... while Leicester is due to stage a National Hunt fixture on Tuesday, the next Towcester meeting is on February 2 while this year’s Pytchley point to point meeting is on Sunday, April 9.
EDGCOTE-based Alex Hales was unlucky not to saddle a winner over 5f on the Flat at Wolverhampton on Monday when Dandilion was beaten half a length on her handicap debut after having to wait for a clear run in the straight and finishing strongly.
Hales’ focus could be at Taunton and Hereford over the weekend with Running Wolf and Kristal Star respectively.
Running Wolf could be joined in the 2m 7 1/2f novices’ handicap chase by Thefriendlygremlin from Tracey Leeson’s Blakesley Heath yard.