The Inside Track – April 2024

 In Greystoke Galloper, Inside Track

The Inside Track – April 2024

In the concluding month of a successful season, ‘just’ the two winners doesn’t tell the full story with plenty of horses running with credit in abnormally competitive contests thanks to the thrilling finale of the British Trainers Championship.

Serious Ego began April with another run of promise at Musselburgh, again not having the race set-up to suit with a sprint for home. He confirmed his well being in fine style at Perth 3 weeks later given his optimal set-up, the end-to-end gallop combined with a slightly easier task was very much to his liking as he cruised into contention and put the contest to bed under Brian Hughes.

The month’s other winner Milcree easily landed the odds in a Carlisle novice before taking in a hot Ayr handicap on very different ground at the Scottish National meeting. An exciting staying chaser of the future, this will have been a good education and he’s very much a horse to follow next winter.

Marown did everything but add to the winners tally, seemingly having a veteran’s event sewn up from the likeable Elvis Mail only to idle and to be headed in the final few yards. Another good run at Ayr followed later in the month but it’ll likely be back in veteran’s company that he’ll hopefully end his 3-year wait for a trip to the winner’s enclosure.

Behind him at Carlisle was Houston Texas, who ran a little in snatches before finishing fourth, then went on to take in a race at Ayr later in the month. He’ll presumably have the same handicap chase on Colin Parker Day in November on his agenda next season as well as being a regular on the veteran’s circuit.

At the opposite end of his career, Robby showed plenty of promise and surprising speed given his pedigree with an excellent second in Carlisle’s concluding bumper. As a half brother to Nells Son he’ll be very much one to follow in his novice hurdles campaign later this year.

In what has been yet another wet few weeks, the yard did well to find suitable conditions to run the ground dependent Rickety Gate at Market Rasen. He shaped well after a 3-month break, fading after being prominent until 2 out and hopefully he’ll go on from this during the summer.

Coniston George dropped back to 2 miles for a Newcastle handicap hurdle, which despite the underfoot conditions didn’t seem to quite play to his strengths. He stayed on late well and returned to further he’s very likely got plenty of scope off his current mark.

Another concluding his novice hurdle season is Wainwright, who is now eligible for a handicap mark after taking in a Kelso novice on what was a very busy day at the track. The race itself was a strange one, a crawl over the first couple of furlongs then broke into a strong end to end gallop with the field splitting into 2 with a full circuit to go. He’ll likely be put away for the summer now and will surely return to handicaps over further given his size and scope.

On the same day, connections of Red Cadillac will wonder what might have been had it not been for an unfortunate and sad injury to one of the other runners. Still tanking along and trading as favourite on Betfair, the race had to be voided before he had a chance to fully show what was left under the hood. He is going to be an exciting novice hurdler next season.

The Kalooki Kid was another who found himself in a more competitive handicap than perhaps would be expected at Ayr later in the month and ran into a fine fifth. Connections now have the option of either taking in some good handicap hurdles next winter or going over fences.

After an extremely harsh 7-lb rise for taking care of what was a very weak field at Kelso, Nells Son was potentially undone by his career high mark in a much better Ayr race. There will be plenty of opportunities in the autumn for his to use his class in some of the early season handicap chases before the novices get fully rolling.

In a recurring theme, another fine run with distinction in a hot Ayr handicap saw Castle Rushen continue his run-to-run improvement of late with a solid 6th of sixteen. It surely won’t be too long now before his consistency is rewarded.

After 16 months off it was great to see Crystal Glory return to the track after his injury sustained at Haydock. Back over hurdles, he found it a little too much of a test at this stage in recovery and was well looked after but assuming he comes on for his return to action hopefully he’ll be able to pick up from where he left off last season as an exciting chaser of the future.

Better Getalong found his 13-year-old legs just unable to keep up as his Ayr handicap hurdle turned into somewhat of a dash for home. A grand old servant, he keeps giving his best and given a more even gallop may yet add to his tally before the end of his career.

Newcomer The Dipper took in a hot Ayr bumper and looked like he needed the experience, racing very keenly, acting green when shaken up as the pace lifted and then staying on at the finish. He’ll likely be very competitive in local bumpers in May.

President Scottie’s form goes from strength to strength and in a much deeper race than Haydock took a fine fourth. He still sems extremely well treated and it’ll be a big shock if he isn’t able to pick up a few races next season, whether kept to hurdles or let loose over fences.

Perhaps the stiffest assignment of the month was set for Florida Dreams who is undoubtably a well handicapped horse. He was running a good race in the Scottish Champion Hurdle handicap from outside of the handicap, before the pace lifting on quick enough ground over 2m became a bit sharp for him. He was also much better than the bare result having been checked between the last two flights and will be dangerous in handicaps over 2 ½ miles if kept to hurdles.

Aubis Walk was also pitched into lofty company after 4 months off but didn’t quite manage to make her mark, with her jumping not quite passing the test. She remains one to be positive about in calmer waters.

One for the trackers is Young Getaway who ran into a highly encouraging fifth in his second bumper and being much the best of those held up off what wasn’t an overly strong pace. He looks the type to progress as he matures and will be very competitive in either another bumper or novice hurdles next season.

Star Performer: President Scottie – rounded off what has been an excellent novice hurdles campaign with a fine fourth behind two strong Irish trained novices and the prolific Major Fortune from the Skelton yard. That will prove to be good form and there are surely plenty of races to be won with him next season.

Join the discussion, and let us know what you think in the comments!

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Showing 2 comments
  • charlie cotton

    thank you so much for keeping us up to speed. it would be great to have an uptodate list of horses in training as we all love Nickys insights and it helps with our selections for 5 to follow! is it possible to know a wee bit about the likelihood of seeing famous bridge , snowyclouds and soft risk again ? and dare i ask about tor side? which of your horses will go novice chasing this coming season? i live miles away but am a great follower of you guys and wish you all the best for the coming year.

    • Nicky Richards Racing

      Hi Charlie, great to hear you have been enjoying the Inside Track series.

      Famous Bridge has had a good season and will now enjoy a well earned break, he will be back in the Autumn. Snowy Clouds is back in training, and he will hopefully back racing late summer time. Soft Risk picked up a small injury after his last run but we hope to get him back on the track next season.

      We have been busy schooling some of our exciting novice chase prospects for next season such as Milcree, President Scottie and The Kalooki Kid to name a few.

      We’re working to update the horses in training list so hope to get that refreshed soon, and certainly in time for the next ‘Five to Follow’.

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Serious Ego after his win at KelsoNo Regrets is the winner of Race Three at Kelso racecourse - image of horse, owner and jockey in the winners enclosure