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It was a relief to see Ask Me Early bounce back to form at Uttoxeter on Saturday, 19 March after his lacklustre run at Sandown six weeks ago.

That display was totally out of character for a horse who made such a bright start over fences. He was never travelling or jumping that day and thank goodness Sean Bowen looked after him by pulling him up when his chance was gone.

Ask Me Early had a sore back when we checked him over after Sandown and has been like his old self since we treated him with medication.

My original plan was to aim him at the Midlands Grand National but that was obviously off the agenda, so the valuable Class 2 Novice Handicap on Saturday was an attractive alternative in a first time tongue tie.

Ask Me Early galloped and jumped with all his usual enthusiasm and kept on to gain his third success over fences from four starts.

He is shaping up to be an exciting second season chaser on soft ground next winter.

Photo credit: Nigel Kirby / Uttoxeter Racecourse

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