Philip Kirby Racing

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Big race Saturday

Can Courtown rise to the Occasion tomorrow?

Can Courtown rise to the Occasion tomorrow?

Its another big step up the chasing ladder but Courtown Oscar has earned his place in todays 4m 1f Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter and we wish his Owners Nobaj ltd and jockey Adam Nicol the best of luck. Courtown has looked every inch a thorough stayer this Winter, although the 10lb rise he was handed for his latest win looks pretty harsh by handicapping standards. Providing he comes back safe and sound  and runs a good race we will be happy as he has had such a fine season, he has already entitled himself to a good summer in the field. Its a major step into top open handicap company and they don’t hang about in these sorts of races with a first prize of over £70,000 so Adam will be hoping to get him into a good rhythm and jumping well while holding his place. Here are two old favourites that have given us some big Saturdays – I took these photos at Castleton yesterday where  they are currently in rest.

Haydock's Old Borough Cup winner, Platinum

Haydock’s Old Borough Cup winner, Platinum

Recently retired 'Stopped Out'

Recently retired ‘Stopped Out’

Sakhee's City

Sakhee’s City

Its not just all about Courtown Oscar today, Sakhee’s City also goes for a good novice handicap hurdle prize at Uttoxeter, its almost £9.5k to the winner of the 2.25 race and he has also earned his place in this better company after a good win last time at Catterick. He carries Keith and Jayne Sivills purple & white colours and is a strong traveller who has jumped well on both his two hurdle starts.

Our first runners of the day are Eastview Boy and Little Bruce in

Little Bruce at Green Oaks today

Little Bruce at Green Oaks today

the novice hurdle at Newcastle, the former showed good improvement when filling the runner up spot here last time and he has really impressed us so far with his jumping. The bookies  make him our shortest price of the day at 9-2, and it wouldn’t be the strongest looking novice ever after looking pretty impossible at the initial entry stage.  Little Bruce is well related and although unplaced on his debut did not do a lot wrong and rather like Bruce Almighty, he is likely to be a better 5 year old than 4 year old as he still has plenty of growing to do. Little Bruce  with Phil aboard gave our daughter Izzy and her shetland a lead over the baby hurdles today as a warm up, he looked in great order with himself as he cantered round our fantastic new all weather arena.

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Izzy trying out the new mini hurdles

Its going to be a very busy day for our Team with our final runner not until 8.15 at Wolverhampton, City Dreams making her first appearance back after a few months on the sidelines. She is a lovely mare who hasn’t  shown a lot on the flat so far but jumps well and is likely to return to hurdles action soon.

City Dreams

City Dreams

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