It has been a frustrating couple of weeks with cold weather and especially snow hitting the yard hard, and it is safe to say we are looking forward to some spring sunshine!
The Cheltenham Festival is always a great spectacle, but the testing ground meant we were unable to send as many horses to the fixture as we would have liked.
Kalondra and Doing Fine both remained at home waiting for better ground, with the latter now being aimed at the Scottish Grand National in the coming weeks.
On a more positive note, the small team of horses which did go to the Festival all performed with great credit.
The Young Master put in an encouraging display in the Kim Muir when staying on up the hill for 6th place. It was fantastic to see an improved run and he too could head to Ayr for the National.
On ground that wasn’t ideal Indian Stream ran another cracker to finish 4th in the Mares’ Hurdle for the 2nd year on the bounce, and she continues to have plenty of options over hurdles and fences with Aintree and Punchestown possible destinations.
We were delighted with Impulsive Star who finished 4th in the National Hunt Chase after a bold show from the front. He jumped and travelled with real enthusiasm and could now either retain his novice status for next season, or go for the prestigious last day of the season Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.
On a personal note, I thought Altior’s win in the Queen Mother Champion Chase was the highlight of the week. Like most people, I thought he was in trouble but the way he quickened up to go clear was breath taking.
Away from Cheltenham, the team continue to be in fine fettle with two performances of note at Wolverhampton at the weekend.
Cape Banjo is a promising dual-purpose horse and it was fantastic to see him win the 1m4f handicap in lovely fashion. Dance Rock was narrowly beaten in the 1m6f handicap on the same card, but hopefully he can get his head in front sooner rather than later.
Halo Moon put in another solid display to finish 3rd in the handicap chase at Newbury on Friday afternoon. The Berkshire venue always treats the owners well, and it was good to see the horse continue a good vein of form with another pleasing run.
It wasn’t such good news At Sedgefield as Dieg Man failed to cope with the tacky ground, but he is a horse we have faith in so hopefully we will see improvement next time.
Looking ahead, we send two to Bangor On Saturday with Rebel Collins taking his chance in the 2m handicap hurdle. Our lad put in an excellent performance over course and distance last time out at the Welsh venue, but this might be a tougher ask.
Lastly, Neachalls Bridge has been declared for the 2m novices’ hurdle which looks a tough little contest. The owner lives local to the track so it will be a great day out, and hopefully the horse can continue to show improvement.