Inthepocket and Fact To File backed to improve on promising chasing debuts

By Sports Desk November 22, 2023

Connections are confident that both Inthepocket and Fact To File have a bright future over fences following their respective chasing bows at Navan over the weekend.

Both novices are owned by JP McManus and rate as exciting prospects for the season ahead having advertised high-class potential last term.

Stepping out over the larger obstacles for the first time Inthepocket faced an old foe from his novice hurdling days, with Facile Vega proving too hot to handle, while Fact To File bumped into a rejuvenated American Mike having skipped timber and sent straight over fences following a year in bumpers.

“We were very happy with both horses and both will learn a little bit for their outing,” said McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry.

“They were both beaten by two very good horses and you would have to be very happy with the way they jumped and hopefully they will learn a bit from it.”

The duo will remain in the calm waters as they search a first victory over fences, with Berry indicating there is always plenty of depth in the Irish novice chasing ranks, and there will be ample opportunities to raise sights later in the campaign.

He continued: “We were very pleased with them both and we’ll see where they go in a couple of weeks. We have no plans, they have both come out of their races OK, will have a couple of weeks and wherever there is a beginners chase, they will probably go there.

“I would have thought that would be the natural thing to do with them.

“The novice and beginners chases here are always hot and there are always three or four good horses in them. It was the same at the weekend, they are good races and you hope the horses learn a bit from the experience.”

The Henry de Bromhead-trained Inthepocket began his chasing career at the two-mile distance he tasted Grade One success over at Aintree in the spring and although he has a Grade Two victory over further to his name, the McManus team seem in little rush to step up in trip just yet.

Berry said: “We will probably stick to two miles for the time being, it will depend on where the races crop up. He can definitely go two-and-a-half, but I would say if the races are there he will stick to the two miles.

Meanwhile, Fact To File fell just short in providing his trainer Willie Mullins with yet another Champion Bumper victory at Prestbury Park in the spring and was sent off at odds-on to make a successful chasing debut over two-and-a-half miles.

It is a distance he thrived over at Leopardstown during his bumper season, but Berry suggested there would be no qualms about dropping back in trip if required.

“I would say he is happy at that trip, but if he had to come back to two miles that wouldn’t be a problem,” he added.

“It’s where we can find the races for them here, there are so many good races around, I would say he will either stick to two-and-a-half or two.”

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