David Ord with three interesting hurdlers in action at Huntingdon and an eyecatching jockey booking at Wolverhampton.
1. JIM TO BOOST GEORGE
Following the news Summerville Boy has met with a setback, Tom George and owner Roger Brookhouse are in need of a boost. It could come in the form of Good Man Jim in the EBF 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle at Huntingdon.
He cost a mere 360,000 guineas after winning an Irish Point and there will have been many a head scratched at Down Farm when he beat only one rival home in a Warwick bumper on his debut under rules.
Sent off the 11/4 favourite, he hung right and stopped quickly back in April and returns here following wind surgery. It’s clearly still very early days with him but surely an improved performance is on the cards in an interesting heat.
Keep an eye on The Flying Sofa too. He was pitched in at the deep end by Gary Moore in March when contesting the Weatherbys Championship Bumper at Cheltenham. He made no impact there but had been progressive prior to that and is in very good hands.
2. DON’T FRET OVER KING ACE
The feature race on the card is the Weatherbys Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle and here it’s Fret D’Estruval who’s on a retrieval mission.
He was a progressive young hurdler in France, winning twice for Guillaume Macaire before being added to the Simon Munir and Isaac Soude talent agency and switched to Alan King.
He took a tall reputation to Cheltenham in December for his British debut but having travelled strongly for a long way, tired on the run to the last.
There was still plenty to like about the run though and clearly there’s an engine there. This track might play more to his strengths and at the very least it looks a good opportunity for him to showcase his true talents.
Beat The Judge and Westbrook Bertie are formidable opponents though in a fascinating heat.
3. JET READY TO FLY
Lady Tenant is an owner who enjoyed considerable success on the Flat, with both Richard Hannon and Marcus Tregoning. Her flagbearer in recent seasons has been dual Cambridgeshire hero Bronze Angel. But he was her only representative on the level in 2018, owned in partnership with his trainer for the first time.
Instead it seems his owner has turned her attention to the jumps game with a growing string at Seven Barrows. Jillythejet is among the new recruits and she can be expected to make her presence felt in the closing Weatherbys General Stud Book Mares' Maiden Hurdle.
A six-figure buy after winning an Irish Point in the Spring, she was well beaten on her first start for Nicky Henderson at Ludlow – but there were excuses. She made a mistake at the first which seemed to light her up and having raced too keenly from then, was treading water turning in.
However she is held in some regard and clearly capable of better than that – a fact she can underline at Huntingdon.
4. KEEP FAITH WITH TEMPLIER
We touched upon Gary Moore earlier and he has a fascinating runner in the Betway Stayers’ Handicap at Wolverhampton.
Templier is the name and he was a winner from a mark fo 63 for Mark Johnston at Musselburgh in 2016. He got his head in front for current connections too when landing a Plumpton novice hurdle in the December of the same year and is having only his third spin on the level for them here.
His mark is dropping and he contests a 0-55 for the first time – and it looks a very winnable opportunity. Throw in a recent pipe-opener at Lingfield, a run not devoid of promise, and the booking of Shane Kelly to replace a seven-pound claimer and it seems they mean business.