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Sadler’s Risk

Sadler’s Risk ran a nice race to finish seventh in the Pertemps Qualifier at Punchestown on Sunday on his first run for Henry de Bromhead. Settled out the back of the field by Andrew Lynch, his momentum was impeded a little by a slight mistake at the second last flight just as he was making progress up the inside. Still no better than 12th as they started to turn for home, he stayed on nicely up the far rail in the home straight and over the final flight to finish seventh, just eight lengths behind the winner Jetson.

It is reasonable to assume that the Sadler’s Wells gelding can improve for this run. Not only was it his first run for de Bromhead, it was also his first run since he finished 10th of 10, beaten a distance, in a Class 2 handicap at Wolverhampton last October on his final run for Mark Johnston. His form had completely tailed off on the flat, he had finished last and third last on his two previous runs for Johnston, and you have to go back to his second-place finish behind his then stable companion Star Lahib in the Shergar Cup Challenge at Ascot last August to find his last piece of worthwhile form on the flat.

He does have ability, mind you. He was a high-class juvenile hurdler for Philip Hobbs two seasons ago, when he finished second in the Adonis Hurdle and sixth in the Triumph Hurdle, and he was only just beaten in a good handicap hurdle at Ascot a year ago off a mark of 145, after which he was raised to a mark of 150.

He is not ridiculously well-handicapped on a mark of 145 now, but if his new trainer has re-kindled his enthusiasm, he is interesting on that mark. The fact that he finished seventh in the qualifier on Sunday means that the Pertemps Final is a viable option for him at the Cheltenham Festival (the first eight in each of the qualifiers qualify for the final), and he will be of interest in that at current best odds of 50/1 if that race emerges as his target. Sunday’s run was his first attempt at three miles and, by Sadler’s Wells out of a Dynaformer mare, there is every chance that a test of stamina is his thing.

2nd February 2014