Tag Archive for: nick alexander

Alexander hoping Shishkin sets up Rehearsal for Elvis

Nick Alexander is keeping his fingers crossed that Shishkin lines up at Newcastle on Saturday to give him the best possible chance of bagging a second victory in the BetMGM Rehearsal Chase with Elvis Mail.

The Kinneston handler saddled stable stalwart Lake View Lad to land the prestigious handicap five years ago and has high hopes for his latest candidate, who made a successful start to his campaign when notching a fifth Kelso win in last month’s Edinburgh Gin Chase.

What complicates matters slightly in terms of this weekend’s race is the presence of Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin, who could make a swift reappearance under the welter burden of 12 stone after refusing to race in last Saturday’s 1965 Chase at Ascot.

If Shishkin does take his chance, Elvis Mail will carry just 10st 1lb, but if Henderson decides against sending his multiple Grade One winner to the North East, the weights will rise considerably, and it is not inconceivable that Elvis Mail himself could yet end up carrying top-weight.

“I’d love him to be running with 10st 1lb on his back. He’s well and ready to run again and he’d certainly be running if that was the case,” Alexander explained.

“If the top-weight doesn’t run and the next two (Ga Law and Datsalrightgino) were to run at Newbury and he was to end up with top-weight, then I wouldn’t be certain.

“He’ll probably run anyway. He won very nicely at Kelso, we were delighted with him and he’s been great since, so fingers crossed he’s still great on Saturday.”

It remains to be seen whether Shishkin will run at Newcastle
It remains to be seen whether Shishkin will run at Newcastle (David Davies/The Jockey Club)

Elvis Mail has won eight races in his career so far, with his five Kelso triumphs supplemented by a trio of wins at Ayr.

Alexander feels the nature of Gosforth Park should suit his charge just fine, adding: “He likes a galloping track and has run well at Doncaster.

“He doesn’t want holding ground, so he could do with them getting a snow shower or something, just to keep it on the wetter side. He likes decent ground as well, so he should be fine.

“I’m very much looking forward to running him.”

Wakool hits new heights with Rendlesham glory

Gallant grey Wakool admirably stuck to his guns to claim top honours in the Betfred Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock.

The seven-year-old had previously won six times for Scottish trainer Nick Alexander, steadily climbing the handicap ladder ahead of this Grade Two assignment.

Turning out less than a fortnight after finishing fourth at Musselburgh, Wakool was on and off the bridle at various stages of the extended three-mile contest and rounding the home turn looked booked for minor honours at best, with the strong-travelling Itchy Feet looking the most likely winner.

But Conor O’Farrell never gave up aboard the Alexander runner and his stamina kicked in late on, seeing him get up to beat Itchy Feet by a length and three-quarters, with possible Grand National contender Ashtown Lad best of the rest in third.

“He’s been a tremendous horse and he’s just kept progressing since his juvenile days and now he’s won a Grade Two race, so I’m thrilled,” said Alexander.

“He won his first race at Doncaster three years ago over two miles and that was his first handicap, so he’s moved up the ranks really nicely.

“I just thought he was never travelling to be honest with you. He had a run 13 days ago and had a hard race and this looked as though it had come too soon for him before the turn for home – when he suddenly came back on the bridle.”

Betfair cut Wakool to 16-1 from 33-1 for the Pertemps Final at next month’s Cheltenham Festival, but he appears unlikely to be in action at Prestbury Park.

Alexander added: “He’d be qualified for it, but I don’t think we’ll go. I’ll speak to the owners but now he’s won a Grade Two, we’ll try to find another Graded race for him

“It’s quite often that this race isn’t the deepest, perhaps because it’s so close to Cheltenham, so it’s been on my mind for a while and I’m delighted it worked.”