News Seven-time Perth winner Amalfi Doug among entries for Weatherbys David Whitaker Ha

Seven-time Perth winner Amalfi Doug among entries for Weatherbys David Whitaker Handicap Chase


The initial five-day entries have been released for the first day of Perth’s two-day Glorious Finale fixture and Weatherbys are delighted with the quality – and quantity – that feature in both of our sponsored races.

The fixture gets underway with the Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow EBF Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle, a race which Gordon Elliott has won on three occasions during the past six years. Fresh from saddling his first winner since having his license reinstated, Elliott has entered Kilbeggan maiden winner Wicklow Flyer, who carries the silks of Pioneer Racing. The daughter of Ask needs to leave behind a disappointing run at the same track last month, but this is clearly a race which the trainer likes to target.

Fellow Irish trainers, John McConnell (She Is A Contender) and Stuart Crawford (Ailie Rose and Island Mahee) could also be represented, with the Crawford-trained having last run at Perth in late-July.

Local trainers Lucinda Russell and Nick Alexander both hold multiple entries at this stage, whilst arguably the most interesting entrant of all is the Fergal O’Brien-trained Mulberry Hill, who appreciated the step up to this sort of trip when winning a mares’ maiden hurdle at Worcester a month ago. That form has yet to be tested, but she appeared to win with plenty in hand and having shifted right at several of her obstacles, might well be better suited to the configuration of Perth. 

The day’s feature contest – the Weatherbys David Whitaker Handicap Chase – is a class 2 contest over a distance just shy of three miles. Nine horses have been entered including last year’s winner and course specialist Amalfi Doug, who has recorded all seven career wins at Scone Palace Park. A course-and-distance winner earlier this month, the evergreen 11-year-old is up another 3lbs, but races off a mark (131) just 2lbs higher than when successful 12 months ago.

The aforementioned County Meath-based handler John McConnell is again doubly-represented at entry stage, with Go Another One and Roi de Dubai both possible starters. The latter remains lightly-raced over fences, after just four starts, and would arrive in Scotland on the back of an 18-length success at Cartmel in late-August.

Get Out The Gate (Sandy Thomson), maiden chaser Lord Napier (Peter Bowen) and the novice Minella Trump (Donald McCain) are another trio of previous course winners who could face the starter, whilst Nicky Henderson could send up a rare runner at the track, in the shape of Haul Away, who also holds an entry over hurdles on the same card. Henderson has saddled 15 runners at Perth during the past five seasons, with five of them successful.

Pym was formerly trained by Henderson – when sporting the silks made famous by the recently-retired Altior (those of owner Mrs Patricia Pugh) – and he also holds an entry in this race, as well as the Injured Jockeys Fund Jack Berry House Handicap Hurdle earlier on the card.

The entries are completed by the Neil Mulholland-trained Exelerator Express, who was an impressive winner at Worcester last month. Mulholland won this race two years ago with Soupy Soups and enjoyed a fruitful trip north to Perth earlier this month, when his five runners resulted in two winners and two narrowly-beaten seconds. 9lbs higher than when winning last month, his nine-year-old will have to race off the lofty mark of 147, but is completely unexposed as a stayer, with the Worcester race being his first start beyond 2m5½f. Conditions are likely to be in his favour and he appears to be at the top of his game at present.