Friday December 2

Exciting times could lie ahead for Messire des Obeaux, who showed his undoubted talents are matched only by his battling qualities when digging deep up the Sandown hill to capture the Grade 2 Winter Novices’ Hurdle.

Alan told the assembled press corps on the Esher slopes afterwards that Messire des Obeaux was “a big rangy horse who can only get better”, and he revealed that the  long-term target could be the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, with a likely next stepping stone being either the Challow Hurdle at Newbury or the Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick.

Barbury have runners all over the place on Saturday, but on Sunday we concentrate on Huntingdon, one of our favourite tracks and one where we have a better strike-rate than any other in the country.

Of our three runners, Alan said:”Top Tug runs in the novice hurdle. He was a decent horse on the Flat and I was delighted with his winning debut over jumps at Kempton. He’ll stay further in time but he is not slow and there is no rush to step him up in trip.

Awesome Rosie won a bumper and a novice hurdle last season and she is ready to start back in the handicap hurdle, while Peggies Venture runs in the Listed Mares Bumper. This will be her last run before she goes hurdling, but she has already won two bumpers and deserves a crack at some black type in this better race.”