Thursday December 1

Two winners from two runners at Catterick yesterday took our unbeaten record on the North Yorkshire track to three, but we are on more familiar territory tomorrow, when Messire des Obeaux will attempt to give Alan his fourth victory in nine years in the Grade 2 Winter Novices’ Hurdle.

Alan said:”It’s been a lucky race for us and looks the logical next step for Messire des Obeaux, who went up 11lb for winning a handicap in good style at Bangor three weeks ago. He is the highest rated horse in the race and will have learned plenty from that first win. He’s a horse we like and he should be suited by Sandown.”

“We are also hopeful of Dino Velvet in their Juvenile Hurdle. He would have finished second or third had he not fallen at the last on his debut at Cheltenham. He was a little fresh that day and ought to settle better with the run behind him, and he has schooled fine since so the fall does not seem to have affected him.

“At Exeter, where racing has to be pass an 8am inspection, we have Wishing and Hoping in the two miles and three handicap chase. He was caught out by the trappy fence at the top of the hill at Plumpton and ended up on the floor, But he did not do a lot wrong, and he has schooled fine since.”