Jack Barber sets sights on Welsh National bid for Ask The Weatherman

Tue 17 Oct 2017

Fledgling trainer Jack Barber sees his prolific point-to-point winner Ask The Weatherman as a realistic contender for the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow in December.

Formerly an amateur jockey based with multiple champion trainer Paul Nicholls, Barber has been training in the point-to-point sphere since 2013.

After saddling more than 100 winners between the flags and being crowned champion in that sphere on three occasions, he is embarking on his first season as a fully fledged National Hunt trainer and Ask The Weatherman will spearhead his team.

The eight-year-old has won nine of his 10 starts in point-to-points and landed a hunter chase at Wincanton in February before finishing seventh in the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

"Hopefully he'll be ready to run at the beginning of November. He's come in really strong from the field, we're really pleased with him, he's jumping well," Barber said.

"He's just been a late maturer. He's done nothing wrong in his point-to-points - he's won all of them bar one.

"He stepped up and went to Wincanton with the Foxhunter in mind. Unfortunately the ground was a bit quick for him at Cheltenham and when they quickened he couldn't go with them, but he was staying on up the hill.

"He's an out-and-out stayer, but he needs soft ground.

"The target would be the Welsh National, hopefully."

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