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Harry Fry: “She’s capable of winning off the mark she’s on and she’s in good form”

We spoke to the top trainer about Innocent Girl”s chances on Sunday

Inoccent Girl, the flagbearer for the Coral Champions Club last season, lines up in a 2m3f handicap chase at Market Rasen on Sunday bidding to add to her excellent record in the Club’s white and blue silks.

In nine starts for the Coral Champions Club and trainer Harry Fry she has only once finished outside the first three, winning four of those races at Taunton, Southwell, Fontwell and Wincanton.

Fry has primed Innocent Girl to perform to her best once again and gave the latest on her wellbeing, along with news of the Coral Champion Club’s Status Quo and some of his stable stars.

Innocent Girl, a four-time winner for the Coral Champions Club, runs at Market Rasen (3.30) on Sunday. How are things with her?
It’s a competitive race and we’ve been getting her spot on for it. It was her first run for a while when she was third last time and she’ll be sharper this time as a result. I’d like to think she can be very competitive again. When she’s completed she hasn’t been out of the first three for us, so I hope she can be there or thereabouts again.

Innocent Girl’s willing attitude seems to be one of her main assets, will that help her again on Sunday?
She always tries very hard. We tried her over hurdles last time with a lower mark and she just couldn’t quite live with the front two. She’s always been better over fences so this race will suit her a lot more.

Innocent Girl has improved nearly 40lb over fences since joining you and the Coral Champions Club. How does that make you feel?
I’ve been delighted with how it’s gone. We bought her because we felt she was well treated and she’s been nothing but consistent since. I still think she’s capable of winning off the mark she’s on and she’s in good form.

The Coral Champions Club also have young hurdler Status Quo with you. How is he?
He’s back cantering every day now and he’s done much better for the summer. He joined us off the Flat and didn’t have a proper break as a result. He’s enjoyed the spring and summer grass and has come back looking great. He’s on target to return in early October.

Status Quo has been steadily progressing for you. Do you think there is more to come?
He’s just been a bit too keen in his races. The more practice he gets the better he’ll be. He’s a good-looking, talented individual but now he has to go and deliver, which I think he will hopefully.

Let’s talk about some of your stars. Unowhatimeanharry was outstanding last season, is it staying hurdles all the way again with him this time around?
He’s just returned from his summer break and is looking great. It’s early days for him at the moment but I’d think he’d be following a very similar path to last season all being well. He’s nine so there’s not much point going chasing so we’ll stick to what he’s good at.

Neon Wolf is going over fences though. That’s got to be pretty exciting hasn’t it?
He’s one we’re really looking forward to over fences. He looks a chaser through and through and everything he’s been able to do in bumpers and over hurdles has been a real bonus. He’s done well physically over the summer and he’s one of the most exciting young horses we have in the yard.

Neon Wolf only suffered one defeat last season. Did what he achieve really come as a surprise?
We weren’t expecting to achieve over hurdles what we did with him as a novice as he’s a three-mile point-to-point winner. To be able to win a Grade 2 novice hurdle over two miles was fantastic and if you’d have told me that’s what he’d have done at the start of the season I’d have definitely taken it. He was just touched off in the Neptune when it didn’t quite go his way, but he lost nothing in defeat that day.

Who else is getting you excited about the months ahead?
We’ve got American who is three out of three over fences and is being trained with the Ladbrokes Gold Cup in mind at Newbury. If The Cap Fits is a dual bumper winner who was fourth in the Aintree bumper. I’d like to think he can be an exciting novice hurdler this season too.

Would it be fair to say you are itching for the core jumps season to start?
Yes! There are a number of horses ready to roll and it’s an exciting time of year. If you can’t be excited at this time of the year then it’s a long old winter.