Henrietta Knight continues on the lookout for a rider for Racing Demon in Saturday’s totesport.com Peterborough Chase as running plans for various other horses around the country remain cloudy.
The Wantage trainer uses a variety of jockeys for her horses these days, but Racing Demon’s usual pilot Graham Lee, who won the Huntingdon feature last year, is almost certainly unavailable, as will be Sam Thomas, Tony McCoy and Timmy Murphy.
Knight has booked others like Denis O’Regan and Paul Moloney this season, but said: “I’m afraid I have no news at this stage.”
Lee will be required for Aces Four, who is more likely to head to Huntingdon rather than Haydock this weekend if the rain continues to fall in Merseyside ahead of the Betfair Chase.
Connections would rather their exciting chestnut took on Kauto Star and company at Haydock but feel the Peterborough is now becoming the more sensible option.
“It’s purely ground dependent,” said David Parry, who runs Aces Four’s group of owners, The DPRP Aces Partnership.
“We would prefer to run at Haydock but they have had a lot of rain there this week and it is already good to soft.
“If it continues to go that way, I would say he would be running at Huntingdon.”
The Ferdy Murphy-trained Aces Four, who was giving Denman a real race before he nearly fell at the third last of the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham, swiftly made amends with victory at Aintree last season.
He has been out already this term, pulling up in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby but still shaping encouragingly.
Parry continued: “Most of Ferdy’s tend to need their first run and he came out of the race pretty well.
“He’s been working nicely since, but as we’ve believed since the summer, his first big target will be the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.”
Yes Sir, who holds entries in the three big chases on Saturday, is set for Huntingdon.
Trainer Peter Bowen has yet to make a final decision but the Peterborough Chase is looking the favoured option followed by the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot with the Betfair Chase being ruled out.
“I don’t know at the moment, but it will probably be Huntingdon. We’ll see what’s likely to run,” said the Haverfordwest-based handler.
“Yes Sir is in good form and he’ll definitely go to either Huntingdon or Ascot - it will be one or the other.
Bowen has been partially swayed by the distances of the races. The Peterborough and the Amlin are both around two and a half miles while the Betfair Chase is over three.
“I would say about two and a half is his trip,” Bowen went on.
“He runs a bit too free to get three miles. He would probably get further if he settled, but he likes to bowl along in front, so I don’t think he gets three miles.”
Tom O’Brien has partnered Yes Sir in his last seven races and Bowen hopes he will take the ride again.
“It will be Tom if he’s available,” Bowen confirmed.