Tag Archive for: Samuel Spade

Samuel Spade key part of small but select Cheltenham squad for Pauling

Ben Pauling has highlighted the claims of Samuel Spade in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, as he prepares to go in search of a fourth Cheltenham Festival winner.

Willoughby Court got the Naunton Downs handler off the mark at Prestbury Park when winning the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle in 2017, while Le Breuil in the 2019 National Hunt Chase and, most recently, Global Citizen in the Grand Annual 12 months ago have added to his tally at National Hunt’s showpiece meeting.

Pauling took a selection of his Cheltenham contenders to Kempton for a racecourse gallop as he puts the finishing touches to his squad’s Festival preparations, and believes he has “a fairly strong hand” in the Boodles and that Samuel Spade is “probably one of our best chances of the week.”

The four-year-old – who runs in the colours of Emma Palmer carried to victory at Cheltenham by Le Breuil – has won two of his three starts, impressing with a wide-margin success at Huntingdon most recently having chased home Perseus Way in the Chatteris Fen at the track on his penultimate run.

He said: “He’s done it the hard way. He was only bought in October and we’ve got three runs into him. His form has worked out superbly well – even the horse that finished second in his Kempton race (Chaos Control) won at Market Rasen by 20-plus lengths.

“He gave 8lb to Perseus Way at Huntingdon and was only beaten three lengths, and Perseus Way has gone on to be touched off in the Adonis since and is now rated 132.

Samuel Spade, who could dig punters out of a hole when he lines up in the Boodles at the Cheltenham Festival
Samuel Spade, who could dig punters out of a hole when he lines up in the Boodles at the Cheltenham Festival (Nigel French/PA)

“He is probably one of our best chances of the week and I’m looking forward to seeing him out again on the Tuesday of Cheltenham.”

Although he could be light of runners in the graded contests throughout the week, Pauling will be looking to make his mark in the handicaps and last year’s hero Global Citizen will lead the charge.

He added: “Global Citizen had a lovely prep race for the Johnny Henderson (Grand Annual) at Wincanton and he goes back there for that in the same form as last year.

“We’ve got a nice few to look forward to. Fingers crossed we are competitive and with a bit of luck we can pick one up.

“I think we’ve got a fairly strong hand in the Boodles, we’ve also got a strong hand in the Kim Muir and Shakem Up’Arry will be fine over two and a half in this ground in the Plate.”

It is set to be a family affair in both the National Hunt Chase and the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir where Jack and Gina Andrews will both partner a Pauling runner in each race.

Malinello and Harper’s Brook are likely to put their stamina to the test in the longer of the two contests which leaves Southern National winner Slipway and Anightinlambourn – last seen winning at the track in the hands of Jack Andrews at the November Meeting – to take aim at the Kim Muir.

“Gina and Jack Andrews will both have one in the three-mile-six for me and one in the Kim Muir,” Pauling continued.

“Slipway didn’t get into any sort of rhythm up at Musselburgh (in the Edinburgh National). He was an improving sort of horse previous to that and I think we just have to draw a line through Musselburgh. He seems well at home and has to school once more before he goes but I think he’ll have a very good shout in that race.

“Anightinlambourn likes the track and possesses plenty of tactical speed and could also run a big race”

Pauling also feels his Champion Bumper hope Fiercely Proud may have slipped under the radar following his Listed win at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

Fiercely Proud ridden by Luca Morgan (right) wins The JCB “Junior” National Hunt Flat Race at Cheltenham Racecourse
Fiercely Proud ridden by Luca Morgan (right) wins The JCB “Junior” National Hunt Flat Race at Cheltenham Racecourse (David Davies/PA)

He said: “He has course form which counts for a lot. That race doesn’t appear to have worked out brilliantly yet, but I think there are reasons why a couple of the well-fancied horses that finished second and third in that race haven’t quite performed to the same level.

“He’s only four, but he’s improving all the time and his work at Kempton was superb.

“He will be dropped in on the day because that is how he likes to be ridden and with a view to picking our way through if they go a good gallop early which will suit us. I do think he will run well.”

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