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By Simon Jackson, London24’s horse racing correspondent
Friday, November 2, 2012
Horse Talk: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news
Trainer Robin Dickin is in a confident mood ahead of Restless Harry’s bid to land back-to-back runnings of the Grade 2 John Smith’s Hurdle at Wetherby (2.50pm) on Saturday.
Restless Harry recorded a facile victory in this valuable contest last year, easing to a 20-length victory on his seasonal debut before he was twice tried and beaten over the larger obstacles and returned to hurdling.
Yet Dickin, who has recently relocated from Stratford-Upon-Avon to Alcester in Warkwickshire, has confirmed that the eight-year-old will return to racing over fences at some stage and that he is in superb form ahead of Saturday’s £32,000 contest.
“Restless Harry is very well and he has been working very well. I would say he has strengthened up over the summer and he is a lot more grown up in his head than he was,” Dickin said.
On September 1 we moved stables and definitely all the surroundings and turn-out really suit him. He is very calm and relaxed now.
“I was very pleased with how he performed last season and in jumping terms you would have to say Big Buck’s is the long distance hurdling Frankel – which he is, make no mistake about it.
“Restless Harry is probably a bit unfortunate to be around at the same time as Big Buck’s but he has been placed in races behind him. Big Buck’s doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I have been racing 42 years now and I have never ever witnessed anything like it - he is just incredible.
“Our horse tipped up on his final start last season at Aintree but he schooled over hurdles and fences since then and there is no way that has put him off.
“He is as fit as a flea and I was astonished by the way he won last year. If he repeats that performance they have all got to go some to beat him, even under a penalty.
“We will also look to explore the chasing route with him again this season. I disagree with the critics, I think he jumped very well in both his starts last season and the horse that beat him at Chepstow, Teaforthree, won the four-miler at Cheltenham and is obviously a very smart horse.
“I don’t think anyone can look at the form book and say he has run badly over fences because he has not.”