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  • Writer's pictureSimon Long

Here’s hoping that ‘Fortune’ favours the brave in the Grade 1 Hurdle at Aintree on Boxing Day

Tom Cannon has two booked rides today at Aintree.


Age, Colour, Sex 5 br g (11 Mar 2018) Trainer Alan King Owner Hemmings Racing Pedigree SOLDIER OF FORTUNE (IRE) 131 FLEUR ROSE (IRE) FLEMENSFIRTH (USA) 122

€58,000 3-y-o: sturdy gelding: third foal: half-brother to useful hurdler Dreal Deal (2m-2¾m winner, by Arvico): dam unraced: useful form in bumpers: won at Southwell and Warwick in 2022/23: has looked useful prospect when landing odds both starts over hurdles, novice at Hereford (by 13 lengths from Flight of Freedom) in October and introductory event at Wetherby (in command flat, by 3 lengths from Bertie's Ballet) in November: remains capable of better. TFR 135p

Geoff Lester - Alan King Website.

Things have gone well for Alan when he has sent horses for the northern tracks this season. The highly-rated Favour And Fortune won at Wetherby, while we celebrated a double at Doncaster last Saturday, Whispering Royal providing Barbury with their first success for Chelsea Thoroughbreds when taking advantage of a soft lead in front, while Irish point-to-point winner Avakate, who has never shone on the gallops in the mornings, clearly comes alive in the afternoon and impressed Daryl Jacob when winning the Listed Mares Bumper on her first run for the yard.

However, it will be the M6 rather than the A1 on Boxing Day for Favour And Fortune, who takes on the big boys in the Grade 1 Formby Novices Hurdle at Aintree, a race formerly known as the Tolworth when it was previously run at Sandown.

Favour And Fortune, is 4-5 so far, his only defeat coming in the Festival Bumper at Cheltenham in March, and he has won both his hurdle races this season in the style of an above-average performer.

Alan said:”We’ve always had this race in mind, so we gave him a bit of break after Wetherby and, while it is a step up in class, he has been working well and looks a smart prospect who has earned his place in this field. I just hope the ground is not too bad, the more it dries up the better his chance.”


Age, Colour, Sex 7 br g (23 Mar 2016) Trainer Alan King Owner Hemmings Racing Pedigree SHANTOU (USA) 125 AIBREAN (IRE) WINGED LOVE (IRE) 121

useful-looking gelding: will make a chaser: useful handicap hurdler: won at Market Rasen (by ¾ length from Big Bad Bear) on return in 2022/23: 16/1, shaped very well when 7½ lengths fifth of 20 to Fennor Cross in premier event at Aintree last time, finishing with running left: will be suited by 3m: acts on heavy going.

Harbour Lake, four times a winner over hurdles in the Hemmings colours, will accompany Favour And Fortune in the box to Liverpool, his target being a first venture over fences in the novices limited handicap chase.

Alan added:”Hopefully, we are finally getting Harbour Lake started on the chasing road. He has been schooling well and is an exciting horse to be sending over fences, but our plans to get him going a couple of weeks ago were thwarted by a small issue with his feet. That is all behind him now, and he is in good form and moving well at home

Fantastic Challenge for a great charity - Jockey's Tom Cannon & Tom Bellamy


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