Tuesday December 15

SOFT ground will be the order of the day at Newbury and Ludlow tomorrow, and we are at both jump meetings with Ardamir and Big Chief Benny making the short journey to the Berkshire course and Miss Crick and The Tourard Man heading off for Shropshire.

Summing up our chances, Alan said:”Ardamir, who runs in the Juvenile Hurdle, won in France in May and is a horse with plenty of size and scope, so I was slightly disappointed with his debut for me at the Hennessy meeting. However, the experience seems to have done him good, and I’d like to think he will come on a lot for that,

“Big Chief Benny should appreciate stepping up in trip for the EBF Qualifier. He bumped into a good one on his debut in a bumper at Warwick last season, but he disappointed at Ascot next time, after which he scoped badly, and it took a long time to get him right again. He is in good order now and shaped with a lot of promise in what looked a decent novice when making his jumping debut over this track last month.

“Miss Crick, who runs in the mares novice hurdle at Ludlow, was an encouraging third there last time, and she, too, should appreciate stepping up in trip. She is a progressive filly.

“The prize money is excellent at Ludlow, so I am keen to support the track, though The Tourard Man, who runs in the three-mile handicap chase, would not want any more rain. He has handled soft ground, but I am not sure he enjoys it.”

“We also have one runner on the polytrack at Kempton, Hardington. He showed improvement on his debut at Newbury when finishing fourth at Wolverhampton, where he was staying on well enough over the seven furlongs to suggest that a mile should suit him well in the two-year-old maiden auction.”