It has been a fantastic week for the yard, with a treble on Monday at Plumpton the highlight of the season so far.
We knew the three horses concerned were in great form, but for them all to go and do the business on the track was special. Everything went to plan which is rare in this sport, so it is important to enjoy the successful days.
Tikkanbar was an excellent bumper horse for us last term and we were delighted with the way he won on hurdling debut. He’s still a big baby so we will be looking to get some more experience into him soon, but he jumped well at Plumpton and we hope he can build on that next time.
He’s a horse we have had offers for but nothing that has convinced us to sell, and it is lovely to have a promising type in the yard owned by my Dad.
Master Burbidge is a horse with a personality to say the least, but he keeps on doing his job, and won his 4th race this year in the 2m3f handicap chase. He was going well at Wincanton last time out when falling, but thankfully he jumped much better this time and it was fantastic to see him back in the winners’ enclosure.
Dalaman made it two from two for the yard when winning the handicap hurdle on the card and in the end, it was a comfortable success. He came out of the race well and it made sense to turn him out quickly on Thursday at Wincanton, where he finished 2nd in the novices’ handicap hurdle.
Aside from Plumpton on Monday, Shee’s Lucky ran a stormer up at Leicester to finish 2nd in the fillies’ juvenile hurdle, and she is one we hope can continue to improve for her owners.
Espoir De Teillee made his debut over hurdles at Catterick on Friday afternoon, and it proved to be the ideal starting point. He put in a lovely round of jumping which was particularly pleasing, and Noel was delighted with the horse.
We will see how he comes out of the race but all being well we will look to step him up in class next time out, and for the time being we will keep him over the intermediate trip.
Looking back at the weekend, we decided not to run Doing Fine at Cheltenham with the ground far too testing for him, but he has options ahead including the London National and the Becher Chase at Aintree.
Moving on to this weekend, Fingerontheswitch runs in the stayers’ handicap hurdle at Ascot on Saturday afternoon.
We have decided to keep him over hurdles after he ran a lovely race last time out at Ffos Las, and with only 10st on his back we are hopeful he can perform well in a deep contest.
Also at Ascot, Soupy Soups runs in the novices’ limited handicap chase and has been schooling well at home. He lost his confidence after making a mistake last time out, so hopefully he can put in a good round of jumping and get back on track.
Whatsthatallabout won her last three starts when we last saw her, but she has been off for over a year with a leg injury, so it’s likely that she will come on for the run in the mares’ handicap hurdle on the same card.
Elsewhere, Where’s Cherry failed to complete in her last three point-to-point runs, so we hope she can have a positive experience on her debut for us at Huntingdon in the mares’ novices chase on Saturday.
Cheeky Chica isn’t the biggest filly but James King will be taking a valuable 5lbs off her in the bumper at the Cambridgeshire venue, so hopefully she can run into a place on her racecourse debut.
Moving on, we send four horses to Exeter on Sunday including Impulsive Star, who will be making his debut over fences in the 3m novices’ chase.
He is a horse that we have been looking forward to sending chasing, and we were delighted with his jumping on Tuesday when Sam Waley-Cohen schooled him at Lambourn.
Collodi was pulled up last time out at Newton Abbot but has had a wind op since, and what’s more he will be sporting a tongue tie, so we are hopeful he can show some improvement in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle.
Lastly, Harbour Force has been a little bit quirky so we he will have a hood on in the juvenile hurdle, while Ochos Rios will step back up in trip in the handicap hurdle.