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Saturday 28th September

Sat 28 September 2019

Good morning from Newmarket. What a thrilling day of racing we have in front of us, and it will be a fairly busy one for La Grange with four runners set to go to post.

Let us get started by discussing our headline runner of the afternoon, Alternative Fact in the Cambridgeshire. Newmarket’s card today features fabulous renewals of the Middle Park and Cheveley Park, and we will be interested observers ahead of our own big moment at 3.40.

In all honesty we had expected Alternative Fact, from an official rating of 88, to have been running in yesterday’s Silver Cambridgeshire. However, much to my surprise (and that of many others too I think!), we have ended up in the main event. Whilst we would have inevitably been a much shorter price for the consolation race and are priced up around 50/1 today, it is still exciting to be represented in one of the season’s great races.

This horse was a Listed-placed two-year-old who just went off the boil towards the end of last season and at the start of this year, having kept good company early in his three-year-old career. More recently we have stepped him back to a mile, with reasonable results, as he has performed consistently well in a series of warm handicaps at Newmarket and Sandown.

Since his most recent appearance at the end of July he has been for a change of scenery with Sophie Buckley at Culworth Grounds, the team who also looked after Red Verdon and Amazing Red so successfully earlier in the season. Hopefully Alternative has returned to us similarly rejuvenated, and the makeup and shape of today’s race will definitely suit. We might have ideally been drawn higher, in all likelihood we are flying a little bit high in this company and we would certainly have preferred softer ground. However, he seems in great form and we are really looking forward to seeing how he gets on. Josie Gordon takes the ride.

Our other afternoon runner is Global Gift in the mile and a quarter 0-90 handicap at 3.20 at Chester. This horse was also engaged in the Cambridgeshire, and he would also have snuck in at the bottom of the weights. However, we have been keen to step him up to a mile and a quarter, and he really does thrive on a soft surface, so the weather forecast at Chester persuaded us to go in that direction.

Global Gift was a star performer earlier in the season, winning three consecutive handicaps and rocketing up the weights from 75 to 90. His progress has stalled a little more recently, although his most recent third place finishes at Pontefract and Carlisle have been satisfactory. It simply seems that The handicapper has caught him over a mile, so it is hoped that the new distance today can unlock some further improvement. As mentioned above, the ground has really come in our favour, Chester is probably a good track at which to try him over the new distance, and we are nicely drawn in stall one. Gerald Mosse takes the ride, and provided Global Gift gets the trip, we are hoping for a big run.

We move on to the evening meeting at Chelmsford later in the day, where first up Reddiac bids to finally break his duck in the mile and a quarter handicap at 5.50. He has found a new vein of consistency in cheek-pieces lately, and has placed at this track on his two most recent starts. Last time out he got stuck in a bit of traffic, and frustratingly he finds himself stuck out in stall 11 today – so he will inevitably need some luck. The favourite Fair Power is in great form and chases a hat-trick, but there is no reason to believe Reddiac cannot run well again. A strong pace to run at would be really helpful to this horse. 

Our second Chelmsford runner and final representative today is Sporting Times in the mile and three-quarter 0-90 handicap at 7.20. This horse spent more than a year on the sidelines prior to an encouraging return at Kempton earlier in the month. On that occasion we felt we should have made more use of him, and as a near relation of crack stayers Times Up and Give Notice it is surely about time that he went back up in trip. This is a tough-looking contest for him on paper, but we are keen to keep him on the AW for now as he enjoys the surface and it helps protect his delicate legs. We keep everything crossed for a big run. Rab Havlin will be in the saddle for both of our Chelmsford runners.


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