Exciting times for on-the-move Spencer

BRIGHT FUTURE: Richard Spencer
BRIGHT FUTURE: Richard Spencer

With a runner to come at the Cheltenham Festival and a move to one of Newmarket’s most famous yards on the horizon, it is an exciting time for Richard Spencer.

The former assistant to Michael Bell is set to be represented by Sir Jack Yeats in Friday’s St James’ Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase — a three-and-a-quarter-mile amateur event(4.10pm).

And upon his return from jump racing’s most famous meeting, plans will ramp up for Spencer’s switch to Sefton Lodge Stables on the Bury Road — a facility soon to be vacated by Martyn Meade.

With regard to Sir Jack Yeats’ prospects down in Gloucestershire, Spencer believes the seven-year-old has a ‘live chance’ following back-to-back wins at Market Rasen and Kelso.

“He has come out of those fresh and feeling well with each race,” said Rebel Racing’s Spencer.

“We could not have got him in any better form.

“It would be a dream (to have a Cheltenham winner).

“We are going with a live chance and as long as he runs a respectable race, does not disgrace himself and comes back in one piece, that is what we are after.

“We have every chance, not just an outsider making up the numbers.”

With all of the recent snow and rain, talk has been dominated by the state of the ground heading into this year’s Festival.

Spencer, though, has no worries on that front, having insisted the gelded son of Yeats will be comfortable whatever the going.

“It would not matter if it was good to firm, firm, soft, heavy, unraceable, snowing — he will go on anything,” commented the Royal Ascot-winning trainer

“He has won once on heavy and twice on good.

“He has run on all grounds, but probably good ground more than anything.

“Cheltenham dries so quickly that it could be heavy on the first day and by Friday it could quite easily be good.

“That is one thing I am not worried about. We are not ground dependent.”

By the end of the month, Spencer is hoping to be training out of Sefton Lodge after Rebel Racing chief Phil Cunningham recently purchased the facility.

And as far as Spencer is concerned, the move will transform his operation.

“We are going to be able to have 50 horses under one roof and it is one of the nicest and best-positioned yards in Newmarket,” he added.

“With Phil Cunningham buying that and still owning Albert House, we can increase our numbers again.

“All being well, we could potentially have 70-80 horses in the near future, which would be fantastic.

“It has been a very lucky yard — there have been a lot of bigger winners and great horses come out of there.

“It is an exciting time and hopefully going forward we can produce more bigger winners — that is what we strive for every day.”