Old pal Wilde Blue Yonder is back after mammoth absence
Christmas is a time for welcoming back old friends and we’ll do that on Saturday when Wilde Blue Yonder runs in the 2m4½f handicap hurdle at Newbury.
He hasn’t stood a lot of action in recent seasons and this will be his first race since he ran on the last day of the 2015-16 season, which was his first outing for two years.
But he’s a talented horse when he’s right and was fifth in the Supreme at Cheltenham and fourth in another Grade 1 at Aintree as a novice hurdler.
Wilde Blue Yonder has done a lot of work and is ready to start back, but I should warn you that he’ll come on for the race.
Sir Antony Browne returns from a slightly shorter break when he has his first run of the season in the same race.
He’s another who showed some decent form as a novice and, though he’s plenty high enough in the handicap on a mark of 141, we need to get him going.
This could be a key period for our juvenile hurdlers as we’ve been getting going with a few of the new ones this week and Nayati is set to make his jumping debut for us at Newbury on Saturday.
He’s come from France, where he won a staying race on the second of just two runs on the Flat, and has been with me for a couple of months.
We’re happy that he’s ready to start and he’s almost certain to go to Newbury rather than take up his entry at Taunton.
It’s the other way round for Stockburn, who’s in the introductory hurdle at Newbury but is more likely to run over 2m3f at Taunton, although we’ll assess both races and the weather.
Either way, he’s one to look forward to as he ran much better at Ascot on his second bumper start and is ready to go hurdling.