Richards hoping that Abbey will make happy return
Thornby Veterans' Handicap Chase | 3m½f | RUK
You are always taking a chance when you back a chaser who has fallen twice in his last six starts, but those who were on Cultram Abbey here last time can count themselves unlucky.
He looked all over the winner as he moved clear three fences from home and was eight lengths up – showing absolutely no sign of stopping – when he came down at the final fence.
The BHA handicapper clearly reckons he would have won and has put Cultram Abbey up 4lb in advance of this bid to gain compensation over the same course and distance four weeks later.
Pete The Feat won the £100,000 veterans' series final at Sandown in January and will be bidding for further success here.
Aiming for a repeat
Firth Of The Clyde won this race last year by two and a quarter lengths from Milborough, who reopposes on 9lb better terms.
Did well here last term
Charlie Longsdon had three winners from nine runners at Carlisle last season but has still to get off the mark here this term – he bids to set the record straight with Pete The Feat, who gained the tenth victory of his career at Sandown in January.
What they say:
Malcolm Jefferson, trainer of Firth Of Clyde
He'll like Carlisle and he'll like the three miles, but top weight might just be enough for him, they've been very harsh on him.
Nicky Richards, trainer of Cultram Abbey
It will be a lot tougher after what the handicapper has done to him. He probably had the race in the bag [last time], but these veterans' races are very popular and very competitive. But he's in grand order and seems to enjoy the track so should run a very good race. He's had the odd fall but I wouldn't say he's a bad jumper.
Sue Smith, trainer of Cloudy Too and No Planning
They're both in good form. Cloudy Too is very familiar with the course, he's won round there, and he's been in fairly good form most of the season. I hope he'll run a big race. I wouldn't want really heavy ground for No Planning but he's got the better weight.
Tom Symonds, trainer of Kaki De La Pree
He's in good form and the more rain the better. He was a bit rusty last time but has come out of that well and we're hopeful.
Charlie Longsdon, trainer of Pete The Feat
He won £60,000 at Sandown so doesn't need to win many more races! He didn't jump very well last time, but he seems in very good form and he'll get himself qualified again.
Sandy Thomson, trainer of Harry The Viking
It's probably too short a trip for him but there are very few opportunities and there's nice place prize-money. I hope he might run into a place.