Well, a fair bit later than planned, I finally got down to Harry Fry’s Seaborough stables today, and the man himself was kind enough to spare an hour to go through his team with me. Headlined by Rock On Ruby, who makes his chasing debut on Monday at Plumpton, below are the details in alphabetical order.
Activial – 3rd at Newbury in a strong juvenile hurdle. He’ll head to the Adonis at Kempton next, then all being well the 4yo Hurdle at Aintree. No plan for Cheltenham with him.
Assam Black – Progressing nicely. Heads to a Listed bumper at Newbury on Friday. Hopeful of a good run.
Bitofapuzzle – She won well on soft a couple of weeks ago. The ground is the key to her, and she’ll go for a Listed mares’ bumper at Huntingdon on Boxing Day if it’s soft enough.
Blue Buttons – Ran a nice race when 3rd last time. She’ll drop back in trip for a mares’ novices hurdle next, after not appearing to see it out at Warwick the last day.
Bold Chief – Having a break after a summer campaign, and could be back in March. Might need a few runs to get back to a winning mark. Another summer season on the cards.
Chemistry Master – Is high enough in the handicap currently (123), but may run at Ffos Las next week. He’ll appreciate any rain, and 10lb claimer Martin McIntyre will ride.
Don Pooleoni – Reverts to chasing after a couple of confidence boosters over hurdles, those following back-to-back falls. He’s schooled satsifactorily since those tumbles.
Fair Dreamer – Gave Martin McIntyre his first win under rules last week, but it was a weak race. Nevertheless, he’s improved since and will likely go hurdling next, probably at either Taunton or Exeter. 2m4f will be his trip.
Fletchers Flyer – Won his only start in a point impressively, and will make a fine hurdler/chaser in time. Will start in a bumper soon, and goes well at home.
Handsome Ransom – Good enough to beat Cockney Sparrow (rated 147 over hurdles) on the flat, and will run over hurdles in the New Year. Wants decent ground, and is a nice prospect.
Highland Retreat – The form of her Wincanton win is working out well, and she went on to win at Kempton in Listed company after that. She’s being pointed at a Grade 2 at Ascot on 18th January, and the softer the turf the better she’s likely to go.
Karinga Dancer – Rated 145 over hurdles, he made his chasing debut today, winning nicely at 4/5. He ideally wants good ground.
Mendip Express – A smart pointer, he’s won his two novice chases in good style. Now rated 139, there’s a race at Warwick on 11th January for him next. He has to go left-handed, and he’s being primed for a tilt at either the RSA Chase or the National Hunt Chase (four miler).
Opening Batsman – Is fine after his Hennessy tumble, and will go back to hurdling now to get his confidence back.
Oscarslad – Rated 111 over hurdles, he’ll take that mark to a novices’ handicap chase first time over fences. It’s felt he’ll be a better chaser, so that route – returning off a long absence due to a tendon injury – means he could be well handicapped.
Presenting Arms – Not run since March, and has a hurdle rating of 115. Although beaten far enough in a handicap off that mark on that last run, his trainer feels he ought to be competitive from there.
Pure Oxygen – He’s bigger and stronger than when making his debut for Paul Nicholls in March, and goes for a novice hurdle on Wednesday at Newbury. Although there are no easy races at that track, he’ll get a run and should acquit himself well.
Rock On Ruby – The stable star. Former Champion Hurdler, he starts his novice chase career on Monday at Plumpton. Has schooled well, and there are high hopes that he can be competitive in the Arkle in due course. He’s a general 16/1 shot for that.
Thomas Brown – Trainer nominated him as his one to follow. Could be a very nice chaser in time. Will head for a Listed bumper in February, and prefers soft ground.
Vauban de Seuil – Had five runs in French bumpers, winning an AQPS race. He’s due to start over hurdles on Monday, and should go close. One share still available!
Violin Davis – She’s been a star for the stable, winning four on the bounce last term. High in the handicap as a consequence, she might run off her current peg of 130 on 30th December at Taunton. She’ll go to stud at the end of the season.
Vukovar – High profile purchase, as he’d previously beaten the Greatwood Hurdle winner, Dell’Arca, but was turned over by Mr Mole on one of his going days. Still, it was a very nice introduction to chasing, and he could now go to Newbury on 28th December, or Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. Long term aim is the Jewson if the ground is all right.
Zulu Oscar – Improved markedly on his spring form to win well at Wincanton last time, surprising his trainer in the process. (Others were less shocked, as he was heavily backed!) Will begin his novice hurdling career in the New Year.
Trainer’s horses to follow: Fletchers Flyer, Oscarslad, and Thomas Brown