Ewart looking forward to ‘Grade 1’ chaser Aristo

James Ewart showed off his string at his open day on Thursday

PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos) Ewart looking forward to 'Grade 1' chaser Aristo By Graham Dench 6:30PM 15 SEP 2016

JAMES EWART is looking forward to a successful season with a team of up and coming jumpers that has been strengthened by the arrival of some promising youngsters and the return from injury of some old favourites.

The Dumfriesshire trainer, who galloped over 30 horses before a crowd of around 100 on Wednesday morning, will be particularly strong in the novice chase department if Aristo Du Plessis, the winner of six of his last seven competed starts and the stable's highest-rated horse, takes to fences. He also still has old stalwarts like Civil Unrest and Lord Wishes on the team sheet.

Ewart said: "We opened to the public on Wednesday, and although it was nothing flash – just bubbles and bacon butties – we wanted them to see the horses actually doing something, so we galloped them, rather than parading them, in two lots of 16 horses each.

Ewart: Aristo Du Plessis ought to be a Grade 1 chaser

PICTURE:John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)

"I'm particularly looking forward to Lycidas, who will be novice and handicap hurdling, Avidity, who has already won a novice chase and is an exciting prospect, and Aristo Du Plessis. Hopefully they will all progress from their current level."

He added: "We were disappointed at the time when Aristo was beaten at Musselburgh in February, as he was bidding for a four-timer, but we shouldn't have been with hindsight as he suffered a stress fracture. I'm keen to novice chase him, and with a hurdles rating of 150 he ought to be a Grade 1 chaser if he adapts to fences. That's the dream."

Ewart is pleased to have welcomed some old friends back to the fold and said: "I'm delighted that we have Premier Grand Cru, Un Guet Apens and Zaru all back in training after spells on the sidelines."

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