Pauling excited to unleash star on Fontwell fences
Ben Pauling is relishing the opportunity to hand Two Swallows her debut over fences at Fontwell Park on Friday.
The seven-year-old daughter of Kayf Tara has been primed to battle four rivals in the EBF Mares’ Beginners’ Chase at 2pm.
And having impressed in her schooling at home, Pauling believes she is capable of laying down a challenge in her maiden start of the campaign.
Racing off a mark of 120, she signed off with a half-length success over Rolling Maul in a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in April.
A half-sister to Festival heroes Thistlecrack and Special Tiara along with the likes of Tea For Two, Planet of Sound and Carruthers, Two Swallows is not a big mare.
However, Pauling is confident in her jumping and expects her to cope with the sharp Fontwell figure-of-eight in the hands of jockey Nico de Boinville.
He said: ‘Two Swallows was a bit of a superstar for us last year. She is tough as old boots and, while she is not the biggest mare, she jumps really, really well.
‘It will be nice to get her over fences and later in the season we would be looking to pick up a bit of black type with her. She has a very nice pedigree.
‘You wouldn’t necessarily expect her to be a chaser. It is always hard for these smaller horses but she has certainly jumped very nicely at home.
‘Her schooling has got better and better. She schooled on Wednesday morning and I was very happy with her, so she is very much ready to run and give a good account of herself.
‘While she is only small, she has a big galloping stride but I think she should still handle the sharpness of Fontwell.
‘If she jumps and travels nicely she will be very competitive. But novice chasers are novice chasers. You have to hope they come home safe and sound first time out.
‘If you are in a position to ride a race then great, otherwise you just need to look after them for another day.’
Miss Crick, Sheneededtherun, Surtee Du Berlais and Tacenda will oppose Two Swallows in the 2m 5f contest worth £7,000.
Pauling currently has 70 horses in training, including Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle winner Willoughby Court and the richly-talented Barters Hill.
The Gloucestershire team are enjoying a superb start to the current campaign, including five winners in the past week.
And Pauling is hoping that form continues in West Sussex on Friday, with Two Swallows his sole representative on the six-race card.
The former assistant to Nicky Henderson added: ‘I love Fontwell. I really love it. It’s a great course and we have had a lot of luck there.
‘For a track that wouldn’t necessarily be our ideal - our horses are more suited by big, galloping courses, we seem to go pretty well there.
‘So we’re always keen to get down to Fontwell when we can and fingers crossed our good fortune carries on.
‘We have had a really good start to the season. It’s been brilliant. The horses all seem really well in themselves, so hopefully that can continue.’