Rose Dobbin expects Some Reign to be “very competitive” if reproducing the best of his form from the autumn following a winter break in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Handicap Chase at Carlisle on Saturday.
The 10 year old is one of seven to contest the two mile feature on the eight race card which is part of the Cumbrian track’s Local Hero Day - an initiative where people in the local community can nominate those who have gone above and beyond to win a host of prizes.
Having suffered a setback when failing to beat a rival behind subsequent Grade One winner First Flow in the Castleford Chase at Wetherby over Christmas, the Kayf Tara gelding will attempt to stamp his class over his rivals and secure a second victory this season.
Dobbin said: “He burst a blood vessel when I made the mistake of running him on heavy ground at Wetherby over Christmas in the Castleford Chase. He has had a good long holiday and has come back for a spring campaign. He is a decent horse and he had a really good autumn.
“I shouldn’t have run him on that ground at Wetherby as up until then he had a very good time of things. If he comes back into the form of his autumn runs he will be very competitive, even though he is carrying top weight.”
Stablemate Doctor Glaz is looking to score for the first time since landing the 2018 renewal of the Watch Irish Racing On RacingTV Handicap Chase, and having shaped encouragingly over the 2m 4f trip at the track last time out, Dobbin is confident the 11 year old can build on that effort.
She said: “I was really pleased with Doctor Glaz’s comeback run the other day at the track as he had to have a winter break as he is a big horse that is difficult to keep sound.
“The ground the other day was quite soft and he just struggled on it slightly and considering that he ran really well. He likes the track and trip so it is worth having a go.
“He ought to be capable of winning off his mark of 107 and Lorcan (Murtagh) gets on well with him. He is a really good work horse to have in the yard when he is sound.
“If he hadn’t had all the little niggles then I think he would have done better as he has ability.”
Things have so far failed to go to plan for Get With It, who suffered a late fall at Doncaster last time out, however Dobbin believes the drop back to 2m 1f in the Join Racing TV Now Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle could bring about further improvement.
She added: “Get With It fell last time out where he was a little bit keen and we thought going back to this trip would help. He is a horse that we have always liked but he has not quite done what we expected him too. He ran well at the track first time out this season but hasn’t built on it. He is still young and he has schooled well since Doncaster.”
Meanwhile Sandy Thomson believes the hat-trick-seeking Storm Nelson can handle the quick turnaround by following up last Sunday’s course and distance success in the Racing TV Handicap Hurdle over 3m 1f.
Thomson said: “I see they are watering at Aintree already so we decided to have a go here in case we are set for a really dry spell.
“There has been no magic solution as to why he has thrived recently. I think it has been a case of him finding his form and staying injury free as he has not been the soundest.
“The first win at Ayr was a complete surprise to me as he is one of those horses that doesn’t give any indication as to how he is at home as he is not a fantastic work horse.
“I didn’t think he was straight enough to win, I thought he might run well but when he did what he did I felt there was a bit more to come.
“We are going back quite quickly but he seems in good form and hopefully he can complete the hat-trick. This is his trip and he will be a nice staying chaser next season.”
Lining up in opposition is the Dr Richard Newland-trained Bali Body, who took a step up to a similar trip at Hereford last time out in his stride to open his account at the third time of asking.
Dr Newland said: “He is a nice young horse that is an out and out stayer. I’m looking forward to going chasing with him next season. The reason we are running here is that it should be on the easy side of good and the stiff track will help him.
“There is some good opposition in the race but there are no other real opportunities coming up so we thought we would take our chance. I was very pleased with the horse’s attitude the last day and he has come out of it well, while the step up in trip helped.
“Each run has been better than the previous one which is encouraging.”
Fergal O’Brien is confident Karl Philippe, who is part-owned by former Spurs and West Ham United manager Harry Redknapp, can bounce back from pulling up in a Grade Three in what looks a match against the Nicky Richards-trained Wetlands in the racingtv.com Novices’ Hurdle.
O’Brien said: “I think you can put a line through his Sandown run as the first three in the betting that day all raced within about a length of each other and all pulled up.
“He won well at Exeter the time before when Paddy (Brennan) had him out in front and I expect him to do that again. This looks the right race for him.
“Although he handles soft and heavy ground Paddy feels he will be better suited to a better surface so hopefully he will run well.”