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About Dan:

Dan has worked with horses for his whole life and spent nine years as Assistant Trainer to Champion National Hunt Trainer Paul Nicholls. With that invaluable experience under his belt, he has embarked on his own training career and now has almost 200 winners under his belt, including Willow’s Saviour’s memorable victory in the 2013 Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot. Dan will be providing a unique insight into his horses and their chances exclusively for Coral.

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StableTalk: “We are going there with two equally good chances where the conditions are in our favour so we have to be happy”

It was a terrible shame early this week that the yard lost Baradari. He was such a nice horse with a great character so he going to be missed. Any death, regardless of the horse, always hits the yard. Sadly these things do happen but they are never easy. I am upset for the owner Andrew Brooks and his family more than anyone else because he was going to be a big timer for them. It’s the cruel side of the sport unfortunately. He didn’t suffer, thankfully, but he is going to be greatly missed.

Saturday

Ascot 3.35 – Zarib and Hurricane Hollow

RACING

I have got two runners in the Ladbroke this year, Zarib and Hurricane Hollow. It is very difficult to separate them back home. Harry rides Zarib and he has slightly less weight. Hurricane Hollow, on the other hand, will have five pounds off his back as Bridget Andrews will be riding. He actually ran really well last time out at Chepstow in the Silver Trophy. He didn’t quite see out two and a half miles that day. He’s got the pace needed for this two mile trip though on this slightly softer ground. He wouldn’t want the ground too soft but it looks like there will be no further rain now so it is perfect for him over this trip.

Zarib

Zarib was third in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton behind two good horses in Irving and Melodic Rendezvous. I think both of my horses have great chances and it really is hard to say who has the best chance of the two. When I say good chances, I mean running well and finishing in the top six. I am not saying either of them is definitely going to win or anything stupid like that because it is going to be difficult. We are going there though with two equally good chances where the conditions are in our favour so we have to be happy.

Haydock 11.55 – Baratineur

My horse Baratineur will love the ground in this race. This trip which is just shy of two miles is perfect for him. He ran well over 2m2f last time at Haydock. I am really looking forward to running him. He has a lot in his favour so there really are no excuses for him this weekend.

Haydock 12.25 – Pain Au Chocolat

PAIN AU CHOCOLAT at Cheltenham 13-3-15.

I think he will like the softer ground at Haydock, which will be much different than it was at Market Rasen the last time he ran in October. He’s probably got Aso to beat, who is a very good horse for Venetia Williams. This is Pain Au Chocolat’s first run on softer ground so once again he’s another one of my horses who has no excuses because conditions should suit perfectly.

Haydock 12.55 – Yes I Did

YES I DID with H Shelton wins Mares Novice Hurdle at Southwell 17-11-15.

This is a quite a trappy contest for Yes I Did because you have a bunch of mares here who look to be of a similar ability which is a round the 130 mark. Obviously something can break through that barrier and I really hope it is us. She will run well but we’ll only know after the race if she is of Listed standard. I think she is but the same could be said about any of the other runners in there.

Haydock 2.05 – Istimraar

We had a number of options for Istimraar this weekend but we chose the 2m2f hurdle contest at Haydock. The weights have gone up but there are only seven runners. I’m putting a tongue strap on him for his run as I don’t see it being a negative. He looks handicapped up but it’s worth throwing the dice. He could well be a big price to win this and you never know.

Haydock 2.40 – Wilton Milan

Newbury Friday

Wilton runs in the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase over 2m6f. He has a fair chance of running well at the very least. It’s a competitive race but he loves the ground and it slows everything else down. This is an ideal trip for him. He has to contend with a lift in weights again but why shouldn’t he be with an each-way chance!

Sunday

On Sunday, Late Night Lily runs in a mares hurdles (1.40pm) at Fakenham. She is a horse I really like. She jumps very well but this is probably as good of a mares hurdle as you will ever see around Fakenham, to be honest with you. I am hopeful she can put in a big run.

All the best

Dan