By Brian Hughes
I travel to Hexham today for four rides.
In the opener, I’m on War Joey, a maiden after nine attempts under rules.
He ran reasonably well for me at Newcastle in April beaten by just over ten lengths, finishing fifth in a two and a half mile hurdle.
He returns from a 161 day break equipped with a hood and needs to step up considerably to get involved.
Arthur Mac has good bumper form and may be the main danger on hurdling debut.
Heart Of Kernow, a dual course winner, returns after a year off the track.
He won after a similar break last year and I hope he can give a repeat performance on chasing debut.
Creadan Grae from the Gordon Elliott stable won well at Perth in late September and, despite a six-pound penalty, looks the main threat.
My horse will handle the track and that’s important at Hexham.
Calach was a winner for me on first hurdling start at the track in June, staying on strongly to win by a neck. He is a tough genuine sort and should be in contention today.
It is a competitive contest with last time winners Simply The Betts and Ex S’Elance likely to be the main challengers.
My horse will handle the expected soft ground and go well provided he is fully fit.
Born For War, who ran well on chasing debut in July, returns after a three-month break and wind surgery.
He carries top weight and steps up in trip in today’s three-mile contest.
My horse has an excellent chance with most to fear from course and distance winner Classical Milano.