Jaleo aims to shine in Lanzarote
Views from connections ahead of the 32Red Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.
Ben Pauling runs a couple in the Lanzarote
Amateur jockey Alex Ferguson is aiming to land the biggest success of his career to date when he partners Jaleo in the 32Red Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.
Formerly trained by his father, Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock advisor John Ferguson, he is now handled by Ben Pauling.
When Ferguson senior handed in his training licence he kept hold of just a small number to run in his Bloomfields colours and sent them to Pauling, to be ridden by his son.
Jaleo, who was with Jim Bolger on the Flat, has won three of his five starts over hurdles and the five-year-old looks to have a bright future.
"He's a horse we like a lot," said Pauling.
"He won very well on soft ground at Lingfield last time out, when he made up a lot of ground.
"He'll get the trip and this has been the plan ever since.
"He's in great order, he's schooled very well and we're looking forward to it."
Pauling also runs Local Show, who returns to hurdles after pulling up in the Hennessy.
"Local Show was on the crest of a wave this time last year and while he ran well in the four-miler at Cheltenham, the ground was against him," said Pauling.
"We were keen to go for the Sodexo Chase at Ascot but the ground was too fast, so we went to the Hennessy but he made an early mistake and was pulled up eventually.
"We thought it would be nice for him to have a confidence booster over hurdles and this looked a good option.
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"He's in good order but we need the forecast to be right and for it to rain. He wouldn't run if the ground was too quick."
Neil Mulholland has booked the services of champion jockey Richard Johnson for his improving six-year-old Kalondra.
"The plan will to be bury him in the pack again and play him late as usual," said Mulholland.
"Fingers crossed he's a nice horse, he's done very little wrong for us.
"He looks the right type for this race, he's progressing and on a roll.
"We've got Dicky (Johnson) on him this time, so we've the right man on him."
Anthony Honeyball believes it is worth letting Fountains Windfall take his chance outside of novice company.
"While his bumper win wasn't high-class form, the standard of his novice hurdles is decent," said Honeyball.
"He was beaten by Gala Ball in February and he went on to win a valuable handicap.
"He had a few little setbacks but we managed to win a novice hurdle in May with him and we then had to decide what to do, whether to have a pop at a nice prize with him or just go down the novice route.
"It seemed sensible to have a go, we can always go back in a novice with a penalty and we quite like him.
"He deserves a shot at it, he's in good nick and we're looking forward to it. It's nice to have a runner in a race like this, with something of a chance."
Seamus Mullins went close in the Wessex Youth Trust Handicap Hurdle with Fergall and stablemate Chesterfield finished behind him there. He steps up in trip this time.
"From what we could see of it in the fog, he ran a nice race – the jockey certainly gave a good account anyway," said Mullins of his Ascot outing.
"We were on a big recovery mission after buying him out of John Ferguson's because we knew he had an injury history. But to run so well in a big race like that first time out was very pleasing.
"We're stepping him up in trip and he looked like winning at the track on his last run for John when he fell.
"He must have an each-way chance."
Henry Daly is just hoping Will O'The West is not run off his feet in the early stages.
"I'm not convinced about the two-mile-five for him, but this weekend we had either the three-mile-two at Warwick or the Lanzarote." said Daly.
"If he can lay up in the early stages of the race, he'll run very well because he'll stay."
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