Tag Archive for: nick alexander

Alexander eager to get Lake View Lad started

Lake View Lad has a trio of possible engagements but will await softer conditions before his first run of the season.

The Nick Alexander-trained 11-year-old was last seen finishing seventh in the Scottish Grand National, the final run of a campaign that began with a Grade Two success in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree.

The latter performance was on his preferred soft going and Alexander is likely to hold out for similar conditions before choosing one of a handful of options for the grey’s seasonal comeback.

Lake View Lad holds an entry for the Listed Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on Saturday, a race he was victorious in in 2018, with a title defence attempt in the Many Clouds Chase another possible target.

“He’s fit and well and ready to run but, like everyone else, we’re hoping for some rain,” said Alexander.

“He has three options in the next 10 days, he’s entered in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on Saturday, but it doesn’t look like he’ll get his ground, he’ll be entered for a veterans’ chase at Haydock on Wednesday the first (of December), and he’ll be entered for the Many Clouds Chase, which he won last year, on Saturday the fourth.

“It (the dry weather) will change at some point, we’ve just got to be patient, the trouble is that the season is going by fast but if we could run him in one of those that would be great.

“We’re desperate to run him and I think he’s in very good form, so we have our fingers crossed.”

Lake View Lad has twice been aimed at the Grand National at Aintree in spring, with his 2019 run ending prematurely as he was pulled up on unsuitably fast ground and his 2021 attempt cut short when he fell at the first fence.

Alexander’s charge – who runs in the colours of the late Trevor Hemmings – demonstrated his stamina when following the latter run with a seventh-placed finish in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr, but a third attempt at the Aintree marathon is far from certain.

“He has been unlucky at Aintree twice now so I wouldn’t have it the forefront of my mind,” the trainer said.

“I don’t really want to be saving him for the Grand National because he has been unlucky, I don’t know whether they (connections) will want to go there again or whether they might decide that he just doesn’t like the place.

Lake View Lad has been a fine servant to connections
Lake View Lad has been a fine servant to connections (Simon Cooper/PA)

“He does also have an entry to the Welsh National, I don’t know whether he’d go there, but it’s not impossible so that would be another option.

“Something like the Grand National trial they have at Haydock in the middle of February would be a lovely race to run him in also.”

Wherever Lake View Lad does make his new-season reappearance, Alexander is hopeful he will hit the ground running after demonstrating his ability to perform on his first run of the campaign in previous seasons.

“It was first time out that he won in the Many Clouds Chase last year, he can run very well first time out,” he said.

“I’ve had a much more straightforward time training him this time around than I did last year, so fingers crossed we can keep him ticking over and the rain arrives for him to run a nice race somewhere.”

Cotswold Chase target for Lake View Lad

Lake View Lad is set to stick to Grade Two company for the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham next month following his surprise victory at Aintree.

The 10-year-old grey defeated last year’s Cotswold winner and subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Santini to give his owner Trevor Hemmings a special triumph in the Many Clouds Chase, named in honour of his 2015 Grand National hero.

Nick Alexander felt Lakeview Lad was comfortable in that class instead of carrying a big weight in handicaps.

“He’s in great form, he’s come out of his race really well. If all goes to plan, he’ll go to Cheltenham for the Cotswold Chase at the end of January,” said the Kinneston handler.

“He seemed happy enough in that company. We’ll have another go and we’ll probably burst our bubble!

“Aintree was very special.”

Alexander had good news about his daughter Lucy, who is on the road to recovery after suffering a serious back injury in a fall at Newcastle last month.

“She’s walked up the gallop each morning and is getting about, but she’s obviously in a lot of discomfort still. She’s in good spirits and keeping me on the ball,” he said.

Lucy Alexander is on the mend after her bad fall
Lucy Alexander is on the mend after her bad fall (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

“She walks quite slowly, but she’s coming out to the gallops.

“She didn’t need the second operation which is great and she’s now had her X-rays and everything is fine.

“She’s got to give it plenty of time which is very frustrating for someone who is as active as she is.

“I would think she’ll go to Jack Berry House in January sometime. She’s having an online conversation with them this week and they will give her some more exercises to do and things like that.”

Alexander undergoes successful surgery on back injury

Lucy Alexander will be reassessed on Tuesday to determine whether further surgery will be required on a back injury she suffered in a fall at Newcastle on Friday.

Alexander was riding Chanting Hill in a mares’ handicap chase for her father, trainer Nick Alexander, and was still going well when falling five from home.

She has already had an operation to stabilise her injury and Tuesday’s check up will indicate if she needs any further surgery.

“The week ended on a positive note with Lucy having a successful operation in the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle yesterday (Saturday) to stabilise fractures in her vertebrae in her lower back,” Alexander wrote on his website, www.kinneston.com.

“She will be re-assessed on Tuesday to determine whether a second operation will be required, hopefully it won’t be.

“Lucy immediately realised things weren’t right (after the fall) and she was immobilised prior to transfer to the RVI and subsequent scans and then yesterday’s operation. She has always been conscious, lucid and able to move her hands and feet, thankfully no spinal damage.

“Whilst it has been a worrying time, the medical care was first class on the racecourse and we are comforted in the knowledge that she could not be in better hands and we would like to thank everyone at Newcastle, the RVI, the Injured Jockeys Fund and the British Horseracing Authority wholeheartedly for their care, compassion and communication, which has been excellent.”

Elvis needs more experience

Nick Alexander wants to give Elvis Mail more experience before stepping him up in grade, following a taking winning debut over fences at Ayr.

The six-year-old made several mistakes, but that did not stop him landing a smooth success from Seemorelights in a four-runner contest over an extended two miles in the hands of the trainer’s daughter Lucy on Wednesday.

Alexander will look for another novice event before throwing the grey into deeper waters.

“He needs to brush up his jumping, but it was lovely for him to win first time over fences, so I was very pleased,” said the Perthshire trainer.

“I really wanted to get his first run out of the way. I think, given his jumping wasn’t slick enough, we can’t aim too high without another round. I’ll try to find another novice with a penalty for him in about a month.”

Elvis Mail, a four-time hurdles winner over the last two seasons,  was well on top at the line – despite his clumsy round of jumping.

“He needs more experience,” added Alexander.

“It wouldn’t be right to pitch him into anything too competitive.

“He’s got a good accelerator button – which is nice to have – but he was flattered yesterday in that he was basically running against stayers.

“Then we’ll look for a nice race after that, hopefully.”