Wayne Hutchinson: Back on track

  • By: Wayne Hutchinson
  • Last Updated: February 8 2014, 15:32 GMT

First of all, it's great to see the yard back in form with the boss Alan King sending out a double on Thursday as well as Valdez taking a valuable Grade Two contest at Doncaster last Saturday.

Wayne Hutchinson: Set to be reunited with L'Unique at Warwick
Wayne Hutchinson: Set to be reunited with L'Unique at Warwick

It's good to be getting back a sense of normality at the yard and getting the horses out ahead of Cheltenham which is now only four and a half weeks away. There's plenty to look forward to.

On to my rides and I have four booked on Saturday and they're all for Alan as I make the trip up to Warwick where Tickity Bleue kicks things off in the starsportsbet.co.uk Handicap Hurdle.

She dead-heated when winning at this track over two mile five furlongs last time out and drops back down to two miles here on her handicap debut.

With the ground as bad as it is at the moment and, the fact she has won a bumper over two miles, this appears to be the right type of race for her and would have a good chance.

Next up is the OLBG.com Mares' Hurdle where we have the classy mare, L'Unique, who schooled nicely on Thursday and seems well within in herself ahead of the race, which includes a useful sort sent over by Willie Mullins.

She has disappointed so far this season, but is still only five-years of age and has had a nice break since her last run and, as she is a mare, this is her time of year and we're very happy with her.

She shaped as though she might want a step up in trip when finishing down the field in the Greatwood at Cheltenham and I have no doubts about her getting the trip here.

Moving on and we've got Balder Succes in the Star Sports Kingmaker Novices' Chase.

He came back wrong after his last run where he finished 22 lengths behind Hinterland at Sandown but is back now, schooling well and in good nick.

It looks an open race but I'd say he's got a good chance as he'd been very impressive going into his run at Sandown and this is another chance for him to gain some valuable experience. We're very happy with him.

On paper, you'd say Midnight Prayer is my best chance in the starsportsbet.co.uk Novices' Chase and you'd have to be confident about him here.

He was unfortunate at Newbury a couple of runs back when he unseated five from home and then posted a creditable effort next time up when he was second behind Paul Nicholls' Benvolio at Newbury.

He's in good order at home; I sat on him last week and he is bucking and kicking ahead of this. The step up to three miles two furlongs won't be an issue as he's a thorough stayer and has already won on soft ground which is obviously a positive here.

Alan has a few big-guns out over at Newbury too and Walkon goes in the Betfair Denman Chase for Choc Thorton.

He still needs to qualify for the Grand National which is his main target this season, he needs to be placed in order to qualify and, with only five runners in the race, you'd imagine he'd have a decent chance considering he goes well fresh and acts on heavy ground.

Raya Star goes in the Betfair Cash Out Chase and he's in good order too, he schooled alongside me and Balder Succes the other day and this will be good experience on only his fourth start over fences.

We've got two in the Betfair Hurdle and Vendor has a good chance, he's benefited from a wind operation over the summer and was a good winner at the track last time out. Montbazon hasn't been seen for 697 days but he has retained all of his old ability, we just need to get him going again and this looks a suitable starting point.

Smad Place runs in the IJF 50th Anniversary Novices' Chase and he's entered in a hot little novice chase with three of them closely matched. He's been schooling really well ahead of this and is another chance for him to gain more experience as all roads currently lead to Cheltenham.


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