Once again this week we have had a string of placed horses but haven’t been hitting the bullseye, something which is frustrating given that the 100-winner mark for the jumps season is tantalisingly within reach.
That said, we have run into some very good horses along the way and ours are running well.
Walt put in a solid performance at Bangor on Saturday only be beaten by a good one of Dan Skelton’s in the novices’ hurdle, though I have to say I was delighted with our lad and he continues to run well.
Similar comments apply to Most Celebrated who once again showed improvement to finish 2nd at Newbury, finishing a length behind an Alan King-trained odds-on favourite. He remains a horse I have every faith in, and maybe a drop him class next time will help him return to the winners’ enclosure.
Elsewhere this week, Doing Fine ran well at Wincanton to finish 2nd in the 3m1f handicap chase. He has now finished 2nd on all three of his starts for us, and I’m extremely hopeful that his turn is not far away. To that end, the Scottish National is a potential end of season target, although he is one that must be fresh to be seen at his best.
Also at the Somerset track, Bellamy ran a cracker in the maiden hurdle only be beaten just over a length by an odds-on favourite. He is another that ran his race, and to be fair it could turn out to be a decent piece of form.
Cornish Warrior was one to get his head in front over the weekend as he won the maiden hurdle at Stratford in lovely style. He arrived with us from Rebecca Curtis last month, and it was fantastic to get off the mark with him on just his second outing for us.
We edged another step closer to the century mark on Thursday thanks to Master Burbidge winning the handicap hurdle at Taunton. He has won on the flat, over hurdles, and there is every chance we could see him over a fence during the summer so he is a fantastic horse to have in the yard.
Looking ahead to the weekend, we send Green Or Black and Bubsy Burbidge to Stratford on Saturday, and we are hopeful that both can perform well.
Green Or Black goes in Div I of the novices’ hurdle, and we hope she can pick up some prize money if, as expected, she improves for the return to turf. Bubsy Burbidge ran well first time but he did disappoint on his most recent start, so we are just hoping he can put in a better display in what looks like the slightly tougher Div II of the same contest.
Also on Saturday, we send Hadfield to Uttoxeter for the 2m4f handicap hurdle. The ground was probably too soft for the son of Sea The Stars last time at Newbury, so we are keeping our fingers crossed he can show his best form this weekend.
Clondaw Cracker has been off since the end of October when he disappointed at Wetherby, but he is one that we still believe in. He will go to Ascot on Sunday for the maiden hurdle, and he schooled well at home this week so we very much hope he can put in a strong display.
Last but by no means least, it remains all systems go for The Young Master ahead of the Grand National next weekend. Sam Waley-Cohen schooled him over the National fences in Lambourn on Thursday morning and we were delighted with the way he jumped. He has come out of Cheltenham well, and we will just look to keep him up to his work over the next week or so ahead of the big race.