By Brian Hughes
I have a full book of rides for the seven-race programme at Perth today.
I’m on Rock N’ Rolla in the opener, a winner of three races on the flat including two in July this year. He is making his hurdling debut today. He has won over ten furlongs previously and should be able to handle the two mile trip. Provided he handles the obstacles he should be competitive. The main danger is Global Jackpot from the Gordon Elliott stable, who is already successful in this sphere.
Running In Heels was perhaps a fortunate winner at Sedgefield eleven days ago as the leader came down at the final fence. She has won three of her last five outings and I expect this ultra consistent mare to put in another good performance. Arizona Bound won well over course and distance three weeks ago and in receipt of ten pounds will be a formidable opponent.
Ballycrystal Court, a hurdles winner at Musselburgh in December last, returns to the track after a six month break. He has his first run for the Nicky Richards stable following wind surgery. I hope he has been improved by both changes and gets competitive. The main threats are last time winners Justatenner and Karingo.
Hammersly Lake goes for a repeat win in the handicap chase carrying the same weight as last year. He completed a fifth chase victory for me at Cartmel in early July and finished a good second at Uttoxeter later that month to the re-opposing Imperial Presence. It should be closer today on better ground and an eight pound swing in favour of my horse. Charbel has run well in high class contests and should be considered. I am looking forward to the ride.
Inniscastle Lad, a four-time flat winner, is still a maiden under rules after eleven attempts. He has run moderately in most of his recent outings and needs to show considerable improvement to get into contention. An Fear Ciuin ran well for me at the course last month and a repeat of that effort could see him go close. My horse could have an each-way chance if he puts his best foot forward.
Cooking Fat won well when I was on board in a similar event at the course two months ago. He returns after a nice break and despite the seven pound penalty I expect another strong performance. It is a competitive affair and a case can be made for Forth Bridge and the Elliott pair.
Whenitcomestoit travels over from the Stuart Crawford yard which has an excellent record in bumpers. I hope this gelding goes well on racecourse debut. The experienced Carrie De Champs, a dual bumper winner, is likely to complete a hat-trick having impressed at the track last month.