Thursday December 15

Cosmeapolitan won like we hoped he would on his jumping debut at Newbury yesterday – “he has always been potentially one of our best juvenile hurdle prospects and he’ll either go to Kempton over Christmas or come back here for the New Year meeting” – Alan told reporters afterwards, and now we look for more celebrations at either Towcester or Exeter today (maybe both) and at Ascot this week-end.

Alan, who also has the mud-loving Dino Velvet primed for the Juvenle Hurdle at Chepstow in a fortnight’s time, assured the assembled hacks that Cosmeapolitan, though fit enough after a good recent run on the all-weather, would be sharper at his hurdles for this experience.

Looking ahead to today, Alan added:”We start off at Towcester with Azzerti in the maiden hurdle. He was a bit disappointing at Sandown last time, but it might have come a bit quick after his promising debut run at Fontwell and also the Sandown form might be better than some people give credit.

Thomas Shelby was second over the track last time and tries to go one better in the novice hurdle. This stiff finish suits him and I was pleased how well he jumped on his debut. He worked well last week-end and looks to have a solid chance, but he is a big staying chaser in the making and this is all part of his education. I can’t wait to see him over fences next winter.

“We also run Desert Joe in the three-mile handicap chase. He always comes on for his first run of the season so I would hope he will improve on his comeback run at Exeter, though it looks competitive and we do have top weight.”

Turning his attention to our Exeter duo, Alan said:”Cajun Fiddle goes for the mares novices hurdle and she was second to a good ‘un in La Bague Au Roi at Uttoxeter and then won well at Southwell. This track will suit her, as should the slight step up in distance.

“Paddy’s Runner accompanies her down the M5, his target being the following handicap hurdle. He’s been struggling and is possibly still a bit high in the weights, but he is in good order at home so we will take our chance.”