Tag Archive for: The Wolf

Threeunderthrufive in contention for Sandown

Threeunderthrufive could have one final outing this season in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

The Paul Nicholls-trained novice has won four out of six over fences this season, including twice at Grade Two level.

He faded into sixth behind L’Homme Presse in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase last week, having been prominent for much of the race.

“If we’d ridden him to be placed he’d have been placed, but there’s no point in being left wondering in these races, he can only run in it once so let’s try and win,” said Iain Turner, racing manager to owner Max McNeill.

“The last thing that was said to Adrian (Heskin) on leaving the paddock was ‘let’s not die wondering’ and we didn’t.

“We thought he wanted soft ground and it would suit us by bringing stamina into play. We thought he’d get away with it, but he might not do.

“L’Homme Presse was very impressive over that trip on that ground in any case and Ahoy Senor, despite a few errors, also showed he’s very good.

“We were happy enough, he’s come out of the race fine and he might be one for the bet365 Gold Cup. He was put in the Scottish National, but it comes very quick this year and it was only in case he trod on a stone on the morning of the race or fell early.”

The McNeills have another for the Ayr marathon in any case, trained by Olly Murphy.

Turner went on: “The Wolf has always been our Scottish Grand National horse. We think the distance will be OK, he seemed to stay well at Musselburgh when he was second in the Edinburgh National.

“He’s a second-season chaser who has run well all year. He probably would have won at Doncaster but for a late mistake and that form has worked out well.

“He was then second at Cheltenham and has been second at Musselburgh when he hit the line strong, giving weight away.

“Unfortunately he has the tendency to clout one which has prevented him winning this season, but he looks the right type for the race.

“Our feeling is the Scottish National might not be as strong as usual this year coming where it does before Aintree this year.”

The Wolf spearheads Murphy’s Musselburgh team

Olly Murphy is looking forward to sending a small team of horses to Scotland for the bet365 Festival Trials meeting at Musselburgh this weekend.

The Stratford handler is sending The Wolf on the long journey north for Saturday’s bet365 Edinburgh National, while Restandbethankful is primed for the bet365 Scottish Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Sunday.

The Wolf, who was runner-up to Full Back at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, is one of seven runners declared for Saturday’s £50,000 feature, with Welsh Grand National runner-up Highland Hunter and last season’s Scottish Grand National winner Mighty Thunder among his rivals.

Murphy said: “The Wolf is well up to winning a good handicap. He just lets you down the odd time, but he’s got a good engine.

“I think the Edinburgh National will suit him well.”

Murphy has also declared Calipso Collonges for Saturday’s bet365 Auld Yin Conditional Jockeys’ Veterans’ Handicap Chase, while the following afternoon Restandbethankful will step up in grade after winning for the third time over hurdles in a handicap at Huntingdon on his latest appearance.

“The race and track will suit Restandbethankful. I’m looking forward to running him,” Murphy added.

Another potential Sunday runner for the trainer is Swinging London, who could make his British debut in the bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle.

Trained on the Flat in France by Jean-Claude Rouget, the Dark Angel gelding was placed in two Irish maiden hurdles for Ellmarie Holden last year before changing hands for £60,000.