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Arzal Brings HWR Grade 1 Success


NEWS: Arzal’s pillar to post victory at Aintree on Thursday gave Harry Whittington Racing its first Grade 1 success at the first attempt. It has been an amazing season for the yard and this win was the icing on the cake. A big thank you to all the staff for all their hard work, all the Owners for their huge support and also to yard sponsors WEBBSWOOD - a huge team effort REPORTS: ARZAL produced a fine front running performance to land the Manifesto Novices Chase at Aintree on Thursday. He jumped off to make the running under jockey Gavin Sheehan and relaxed very nicely in front. He produced his best jumping display to date taking lengths out of his rivals at every obstacle and set a decent gallop throughout the contest. Nothing was able to go with him leaving Gavin the opportunity to dictate, he gave Arzal a breather coming to 3 out and then kicked again. L’Ami Serge emerged as the only challenger coming to the 2nd last but as soon as he came to Arzal he went on again, winged the last and stayed on strongly to win by 8 lengths. It was a fantastic performance from horse and jockey and a huge occasion for everyone involved, hopefully the first of many for HWR. Bigmartre finished an excellent 3rd in the 2m Handicap Hurdle that ended the Grand National card at Aintree on Saturday. He was ridden by yard conditional Harry Teal for the first time and he gave him an excellent ride. There was a lot of pace on so we switched tactics and sat in midfield for the first time. Bigm not used to the switch in tactics was on and off the bridle from an early stage, but Harry kept kidding him and Bigm responded. The strong pace meant the race started to take shape into the straight and Bigm was still going well. The eventual 1st and 2nd sliced through the field with a turn of foot, but Bigm just stayed on at the same pace very nicely under a strong ride from Harry to get 3rd on the line. It was an excellent performance to end his first season for us and we can’t wait to get him over fences in the autumn, he’s a very exciting chasing prospect. Mollasses was pulled up on her first run back from injury at Newbury last Friday. She was quite free on her return, but travelled strongly and got into a nice jumping rhythm from the front. She still seemed to be going nicely turning into the home straight, but suddenly she started to hang badly and Richard Johnson pulled her up sharply. She has been fully checked over and is absolutely fine, which is a huge relief. We can now look forward to a summer campaign with her. All being well she will have her next run at Leicester on the 23rd April back on the flat. Duke of Medina finished 6th in a 2m 3f Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Newbury last Saturday. He travelled and jumped really well for Harry Teal and looked to have every chance turning for home. Unfortunately the ground had dried out a little too much for him, and a handful of better handicapped horses were able to quicken past him. He showed a very good attitude to stay on for 6th under Harry and may well step up in trip for his next start. Zephyros Bleu was pulled up when stepped up in trip at Uttoxeter last Saturday. He wore cheek pieces for the first time and we were hopeful the step up in trip would suit him. Unfortunately he looked uncomfortable from an early stage, although he did jump accurately. He weakened on the final circuit and was pulled up just before 3 out. The ground was a bit holding for him and he stopped quickly, so he will now go out to grass for a very well earned summer break before coming back chasing in the autumn. Patronne finished 11th on her first run after a wind op at Ludlow last Tuesday. She was very free under jockey Gavin Sheehan and was taken by race favourite Imperial Presence for the lead. They took each other on and ended up going too quickly, setting a really strong pace. Patronne jumped well on the whole and travelled well but the strong gallop took its toll. She weakened at the top of the home straight and came home in 11th. She is a talented filly and clearly has the stamina for hurdles, but just needs to learn to relax in her races which she should do with a change in tactics. Polstar finished an excellent 3rd on his first run back from a break at Ludlow last Tuesday, it was a strong gallop and he was flat out from an early stage in his customary fashion. Gavin Sheehan kept him up to his work though and he jumped well on the whole and that kept him in touch. The pace collapsed coming into the straight and Polst managed to pick off most of the field coming home in 3rd. He’s clearly in great form after his break and will now be campaigned through the summer on his favoured better ground, hopefully he will add to his total of 5 wins for connections. Qasser finished 5th in the same race, travelling well for a long way under a prominent from Harry Teal. He did weaken in the straight in a very similar style to when he last ran there and doesn’t seem to be in love with the way the races are run around there. He will now switch back to the flat and we are aiming him at a race at Wolverhampton on the 23rd April. Farbreaga finished a well held 4th at Newton Abbot last Tuesday. He was able to get to the lead on this occasion, jumping well for the first few fences but after a mistake on the far side he was never travelling for jockey Jerry McGrath. He was able to get him back to the front a couple of times after slow jumps but unfortunately Fab eventually slipped back through the field. Jerry kept him going and he finished a well held 4th. He will now go for a summer break before coming back to go again in the Autumn, having been dropped 4 lbs will make him very competitive in a 0-120. ENTRIES: Frizzo missed his last two engagements because of the ground and is entered at Wetherby on Sunday and Market Rasen on Thursday. We will monitor ground conditions before making a decision, he is in good form. Patronne is entered in a Mares Novice Hurdle at Huntingdon on Monday, she has come out of her Ludlow run well and needs some more experience. Patsy is another horse who needs that better ground. Sporting Milan is a new recruit to the yard and is entered in various races next week. He finished 3rd in a bumper on his only start under rules and is now ready to go hurdling. He is a full brother to the smart staying chaser Themilanhorse and is a nice recruit to the team. He is another horse who should appreciate some better going. Until next week,