[close]

Eye-Catchers From Wetherby, Punchestown And Chepstow

Ben Fearnley picks out three eye-catchers from the last week, including a couple who may well be seen next at the Cheltenham Festival.

Eye-Catchers From Wetherby, Punchestown And Chepstow

Ben Fearnley picks out three eye-catchers from the last week, including a couple who may well be seen next at the Cheltenham Festival.

Apple's Jade
Apple's Jade Picture:Pat Healy Photography

Milan Express – Wetherby, Tuesday 21st February

Milan Express Horseform isn’t the first Kim Bailey-trained horse to have shown improved form in recent weeks, with the yard now going much better overall than they were a couple of months ago. Milan Express has some interesting form to her name in maidens, including a fourth at Hereford (where she shaped better than the distance beaten), which has worked out well. She showed herself to be on a handy mark (from 104) on her handicap debut at Wetherby last week following 11 weeks off, improving on her maiden form to chase home a subsequent winner who was gambled on from a falling mark. A rangy mare, Milan Express will be suited by further than two and a half miles and is open to further improvement with that in mind. A 1 lb rise in the weights after her last run seems very fair. Kim Bailey


Apple’s Jade – Punchestown, Wednesday 22nd February

Considering Limini is trained by Willie Mullins and is already a Cheltenham Festival winner, she was sent off at a fairly big price for her return in a listed hurdle race at Punchestown last week. That was, of course, because of the presence of Apple's Jade Horseform, who had won the Grade 1 Hatton's Grace Hurdle in December and was the pick of the pair on form. Apple’s Jade was unable to match Limini’s turn of foot after the last, however, and she may well have needed the run more than expected given she was returning from 11 weeks off. Apple’s Jade’s profile suggests that she may well step up on this run next time, and she should be well suited by the stiffer track and likely stronger pace that the Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival will provide. She remains a leading contender for that race, very closely matched with Willie Mullins' most likely representative Vroum Vroum Mag (who scrambled home at Doncaster last time and is more likely to run in the mares' race than Limini, who could be Champion Hurdle bound) on the pick of their form. Gordon Elliott

Jury Duty – Chepstow, Saturday 25th February

Gayebury, the winner of the Pertemps Qualifier at Chepstow on Saturday, will have gone down in plenty of notebooks after his much-improved performance on his first start over three miles (could even be worth a go in the Albert Bartlett). However the second that day, Jury Duty Horseform, also shaped with plenty of promise, especially with a view to the Pertemps Final itself at Cheltenham. Jury Duty travelled in to the race well before being left behind by the winner after two out, but this was his first start for three months following a taking win in a Navan handicap (which has worked out well since) and it should put him spot on for a crack at the main prize at Cheltenham later this month. Gordon Elliott
Timeform



Check out the latest Singapore News


Latest Stories