Ian’s weekend news

January 23rd, 2016 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

Vivaldi Collnges could not do it for us last week but I wouldn’t set too much store by the result at Warwick. Meetings are taking place now when many of the participants have little chance of getting home on heavy ground and the form will mean relatively little when conditions change.

I have a problem with Haydock in that I like it very much as a course but feel it holds plenty of water and racing sometimes goes ahead when you know full well that they will come home in Indian file at ever-increasing intervals. It just isn’t my cup of tea and now that Peace And Co gives the rather grandly titled Champion Hurdle Trial a miss I shall concentrate on Ascot.

Willie Mullins sends horses over on most weekends now and the prolific VROUM VROUM MAG should like everything about the Grade 2 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle after setting up a sequence in Ireland and giving every indication that this near-three mile trip will not present any extra problems. The bookmakers will not be taking any chances with her and the value is questionable but she may just have the legs of Desert Queen.

David Pipe sent out a clear-cut winner in a handicap hurdle at Wincanton on Thursday and, to be honest, the stewards might have had a word because the horse in question had little or no worthwhile form in the recent past.

Still, the yard was out of form for part of the time and it may just be that, with things going better now, some bigger winners will come along. I don’t know why UNANIMITE ran so poorly in The Ladbroke but sometimes it can be a good move to overlook one disappointment and rely on earlier form. He previously ran a fine second in a very valuable contest at Ascot and that level of form will carry him very close in the Grade 3 Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle at 2.25.

Studying Paul Nicholls’ modis operandi can often be rewarding and you would have to say the ex-French Clic Work is exactly the type he might set up for a Cheltenham handicap hurdle. Not seen for many a month and very ‘dark’ indeed, Clic Work was second at Nancy to a horse of Guillaume Macaire’s and that clearly impressed people watching for Nicholls and his potential owners.

Clic Work is only four, claims all the allowances and has form on very soft ground. The Bathwick Tyres Novices’ Hurdle at Taunton on Saturday looks a suitable starting point.