Trainer Warren Greatrex is hoping that the undefeated Emitom can confirm the promise he showed on his hurdles debut at Ffos Las in November when he lines up in the 2m novice hurdle (1.10) at Lingfield on Tuesday.
The manner of that victory was one of serious potential and Greatrex remains bullish about prospects for the five-year-old.
“He has a lot of ability,” he said. “Obviously it’s still early doors but he’s done everything right up until now and has been the apple of our eye ever since we bought him at Doncaster last May.
“We’ll look to get tomorrow over and done with and then we’ll make a plan – hopefully towards some better races further down the line.”
The trainer, who said Emitom had been spending time with Henrietta Knight to sharpen up his jumping, added: “Just before Christmas he came down with a bit of a cold and it’s just taken him a bit of time to get over it. It’s a shame because I had some grand plans over Christmas to run him in some better races.”
Those “better races further down the line” could include the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, for which he is a general 33-1.
Anderson the leading amateur?
With seven winners already, Aaron Anderson has enjoyed an excellent start to the 2018-19 amateur riders’ campaign, and Fitzdares’ 2-1 favourite for the men’s amateurs’ title will be hoping that can continue with Sendiym at Newcastle.
Notable successes aboard the likes Nortonthorpelegend and Xpo Universal have put Anderson on the map this season and the jockey is determined to ensure that the past four months have not just been a flash in the pan.
Sendiym faces seven rivals in the 2m6f Border Minstrel Pub Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle (3.50) and at 12 is the oldest horse in the line-up.
“I’ve been riding out in a lot of places and getting myself out there a bit more and that’s really helped,” Anderson said.
“I’ve worked for Rebecca [Menzies] for a while now and everything seems to working out pretty well. It’s a real advantage being able to sit on a lot of these horses before I ride them – that makes things a lot easier.”
The Galway native, who does some work with a bloodstock agency on the side of his burgeoning career in the saddle, added: “I’d like to get to anywhere between 16 and 18 winners this season. It’s not a big number in real terms but for me personally it would be fantastic.”
Men’s amateur jump jockeys’ title
Fitzdares: 2 Aaron Anderson, 5-2 David Maxwell, 3 Tommie O’Brien, 10 Jack Andrews, 16 Sam Waley-Cohen, 20 Ben Jones, 25 Alex Edwards, Noel George, 33 William Easterby, Michael Legg.
Choral Clan to return after absence
After an injury-enforced 390-day absence, trainer Brendan Powell is hopeful of a positive reappearance from consistent eight-year-old Choral Clan in the 32Red Casino Handicap (7.15) over a mile at Kempton.
Powell said the son of Oratorio had suffered a tendon injury which prevented him running last year, and added: “He’s come back now and seems in good form at home. He may very well be better over a little bit further but in fairness it looks an ideal race to give him his first run back.
“He could find one or two a little bit sharp for him but there’s no reason he won’t run a nice race. There are a few nice mile and a quarter races for him in a few weeks’ time if Kempton goes well.”
O’Brien out to further improve strike-rate
If you had a tenner on each one of Joseph O’Brien’s 24 runners at Fairyhouse this season you would be €157.50 richer now.
He has a 25 per cent success rate at the track thanks to six winners and is hoping Inca Gold can improve that impressive strike-rate further in the Buy Your Great Value Annual Fairyhouse Membership Rated Hurdle (2.00).
Inca Gold made an impressive winning start for O’Brien in a novice hurdle at Gowran Park in November but found the going too testing when pulled up at Limerick over Christmas.
O’Brien said: “Inca Gold is a nice horse we like. He produced a bad run at Christmas but we think the ground may have been to blame. He has a bit to prove now though, so he’ll need to improve.”
On his other representative, Exactoris, O’Brien said: “He hasn’t run for a long time and lost his confidence over fences so he’s back over hurdles in a bid to rejuvenate him.”
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