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THE MID-SEASON
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Graham Richards’s Latest News

Sunday, 26th January 2003

Charlie Mann horses are in form and you should keep an eye out for MERCHANTS FRIEND who worked well the other day in preparation for the three-mile handicap chase at Kempton on Monday 27th. He spoilt his chance with uncharacteristic mistakes on his latest outing at the Sunbury track, and has since been to Yogi Breisner for a schooling lesson. SPECIAL AGENDA will next run at either Sandown or Market Rasen and it his hope that a recent breathing operation will make all the difference. SHOWPIECE, who won three times on the Flat for Willie Haggas last year is schooling proficiently and is just waiting for better ground. PROPER SQUIRE did strong gallop and is in fine fettle ahead of next Saturday's Scoop6 Handicap Hurdle at Sandown, watch out for market support. BEAVER LODGE missed out on Doncaster today because of the dead ground on Town Moor but he is going nicely and is one for the notebook. WINTERTIDE worked well in preparation for a race at Southwell. ALLUDE strode out powerfully in his work ahead of a race at Sandown next Saturday. DOUBLE HONOUR worked well for Peter Hobbs on Saturday with Keltic Bard boosting the form in no uncertain style on Saturday he could be a real prospect for Cheltenham. ONE KNIGHT looked in tip-top form ahead of a run at Exeter where another confidence-boosting victory is expected on his way to the Royal & Sun Alliance Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Ferdy Murphy’s team is in good form and at Musselburgh on Tuesday. FAMILY VENTURE, a ready winner last time, easily brushed aside his lead horse in a mile workout and will be hard to stop in his follow-up attempt in the three-mile handicap hurdle. SUPREME BREEZE, SIR ROWLAND HILL, SPIDER MUSIC and RAGU all worked well ahead of forthcoming runs. Jamie Osborne’s LORD MELBOURNE, is working well and appears to be coming back to form and is back on a winning mark. KINGFISHER FLYER is working nicely over and will run over two and a half miles in the near future. Tarasco has schooled well since his fall at Bangor and ran quite well at Doncaster on Saturday, he will be better off in low grade handicaps. Kingsfold Freddie has improved recently; he may now be switched to two and a half miles hurdle. tango ROYALE again ran well on Saturday and looks as though three miles may be his optimum trip now. Information reaches me that THE BAJAN BANDIT will continue to run in races away from the top grade in preparation for a tilt at the Scottish Grand National. Dark N’Sharp is considered by some pundits to have been disappointing this season. It should be remembered he was hampered at Kempton in his last race and is considered by his trainer a spring horse; Cheltenham and Aintree remain firmly on his agenda.  I though SAINTSAIRE ran like a horse just needing the race; given the reports of intermittent lameness he should not be written off yet. volano and DEEP SUNSET displayed in their recent races that a well laid plan is just round the corner waiting for them. Martin Todhunter is a shrewd operator and one of his to watch out for in handicaps is BRAVE EFFECT. SCARFACE comes from a small stable that can get one ready; this ex-flat winner in Germany and Holland should be noted in lowly company.

Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people
W.C.Fields 

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