Thursday May 26

Gone Too Far, who won well at Exeter last time, tries to follow up off a 6lb higher mark at Worcester tomorrow, but for Oceane, twice a winner over hurdles last autumn, it is back to the Flat at Salisbury on Saturday.

Alan also left in Oceane at Chester, but with a 12-maximum it was always odds against him making the cut on the Roodee, whereas at Salisbury in a race a grade lower he is set to carry topweight.

Looking at the weather forecast as we spoke, Alan said:”I hope the heavy showers they are forecasting for the week-end steer clear of Wiltshire as Oceane is definitely a better horse on good ground.

“He did us proud over hurdles through the winter and was second in a decent race at Ascot last month, and this will be his first run on the level since he finished third in the soft at Newbury last September.

“However, Oceane slots into this 0-85 handicap as he has been dropped 3lb on the Flat to a mark of 84, and he was off that figure when he ran subsequent St Leger winner Simple Verse to three parts of a length, giving the filly 2lb, in the Bibury Cup here at Salisbury last summer. On that form he’d be a player.

“Similarly, I hope the rain stays away from Chester as we send Master Blue Eyes up there for the 12-furlong handicap. He won well in his first handicap at York earlier this month, and, though now 7lb higher, he looks to be progressing nicely, so, hopefully, he’ll run well, too.”