19 January 2009
ONE OF the most interesting features of the weekend racing is the return of a hoss which has won us loads of money in the past and will hopefully do the same in the future.
I refer to Reveillez. Winner of the Jewsons Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2006 when trained by James Fanshawe, he is set to have his first start for more than twenty months - and his first for trainer Jonjo O'Neill - in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock on Saturday.
I was first attracted to Reveillez as a potential big winner by the James Fanshawe connection. As I have said many times I have known James since his days as the resident trainer for owner Bill Gredley at Stetchworth House where, when I was sober, I was employed as a general dogsbody and part time gardener.
I rate James as probably the best all round trainer in the land, and a thoroughly nice man. Whether Jonjo can get the same out of Reveillez remains to be seen.
The JP McManus ten year old was last seen in action when finishing second in the Betfred Gold Cup at Sandown in April 2007 but O'Neill said that he was in line to make his return at Haydock on Saturday.
The trainer sates that he will run, all being well, and it would be his first start for him. He went on to add that he hoss seems to be in good form with himself despite the long lay off. O'Neill went on to add that the hoss was moving well and was sure to give a good account of himself.
"I expect a good run from him" said the trainer. I would have had just a tad more confidence if the hoss was still in the Snailwell yard of James Fanshawe but nobody trains a jumper better than Jonjo, so I take the advice at face value and expect a good run.
A total of 31 have been entered for the Grade 2 contest over 3m, including the evergreen Monkerhostin, 2007 Welsh National winner Miko De Beauchene and Roll Along who finished third behind Barbers Shop in the Future Stars Chase at Sandown last month.
The Blue Square Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock on Saturday looks like a one hoss race. Snap Tie, who beat Katchit at Kempton on his reappearance and ran Harchibald close in the Christmas Hurdle has been installed at 4-7 favourite for the Trial.
Trainer Phillip Hobbs said "As long as the ground is not too soft the plan is to run him at Haydock and we expect him to step up from his Kempton performance".
He went on to add that the Champion Hurdle is very much in the plan provided he maintains his form, and that after Haydock he would look at the Totesport Trophy at Newbury even though he would have a big weight or failing that the Kingswell Hurdle at Wincanton. The going at Haydock on Monday was described as good, good to soft on the hurdle course.The only opposition the bookies see to Snap Tie is Afsoun on offer at 4-1.
Our own very modest jumping plans with Lawyer To World have had a setback with him not getting his planned prep race over the flat at
Great Leighs on Thursday night. The plan was to sharpen him for a pop at a 2m hurdle race back at Fakenham on 13th February but that is all back in the melting pot since Lawyer got eliminated from the Great Leighs race. I still think there is a place at huge odds in this hoss. Watch this space.
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