4:18pm Friday 17th January 2014
By Niall Hannity
ALAN SWINBANK is the master when it comes to bumper winners and the trainer looks to have another very smart horse on his hands with Molly Cat, a filly who took the concluding race at Wetherby last Saturday in very easy under Paddy Brennan.
The handler has already a plan in mind for her, saying: “She’s one of those who has never done put a foot wrong.
“We’ll see how we go, but if she can do the same as she’s done today over two miles, we might look at the Aintree bumper in April.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Phil Kirby and Richie Mc- Grath teamed up to take the 2½mi handicap hurdle with Embsay Crag, unexposed at this trip he can win a similar race and likes Wetherby, this being his second success at the track.
The ground was also very testing at Newcastle on Wednesday and Middleham trainer was on hand to watch Wolf Shield come home in front in the staying hurdle under Barry Keniry after attracting morning support.
The delighted trainer said: “I don’t think a lot of people could have backed him with any confidence. Two weeks ago he galloped with a camera down him to see if anything was amiss.
“His Doncaster run last time was not a bad run and he has just come right today.
When he is right he battles and he has come down 10lb so he has been given a chance by the handicapper.
I’m really looking forward to a cracking card at Haydock tomorrow and it will be interesting to see Meadowcroft Boy who bids to extend his unbeaten record to four, in the Grade Two Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday The Alistair Whillanstrained five-year-old developed into a leading bumper performer last season, following up his debut win at Newcastle in March with a decisive length and a quarter success in the valuable DBS Spring Sales Bumper at Ayr in April.
He made an encouraging start to his hurdling career when scoring by 21 lengths in a novices’ hurdle at Carlisle on December 1.
Whillans reported: “Meadowcroft Boy has been in grand form since his win at Carlisle. I don’t know what the opposition was like, but he won it well enough.
“He jumped well and is very professional. He is like that at home as he works well, but doesn’t sparkle. He just does his work and that’s it.
“We were thinking of going to Newcastle on Wednesday, but then we thought we would give him a go at a decent race and see how good he is.
“After tomorrow, we will know whether we go handicapping or for the better races in the spring, but his bumper form suggests he is pretty good.
“He seems versatile but I would say good to soft or soft ground is fine for him. If it was heavy, I think that would catch him out.”
The first foal sired by the great Frankel has been born, his owners Juddmonte Farms confirmed on Wednesday.
Juddmonte Farms General Manager Philip Mitchell commented: “From the reports that I have received Frankel’s first foal is everything we could have hoped for. These are very exciting times for everyone who has supported the horse and we much look forward to the rest of his first crop of foals.”
Chrysanthemum was the first mare scanned in foal to Frankel last year, and this is her first foal.
Frankel, trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil, retired from the track in October 2012 after taking his 100 per cent record to 16 with victory in the Qipco Champion Stakes.
Other top mares he has already attracted include Alexander Goldrun, Danedream, Dar Re Mi, Midday, Stacelita and Vodka.
The son of Galileo, now a six-year-old, mated with 133 mares between February and June in 2013 at £125,000 a time.
The coverings yielded around £15million, with his potential stud earnings estimated at £100m plus, good business!
Looking ahead to next week, there is a good card at Wetherby on Tuesday with the seven race card due under way at 12.20pm.
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