We are obviously disappointed to lose a horse like Fox Norton but my owners received an offer they weren’t in a position to turn down and that is fair enough. We were delighted with the way the horse ran at Cheltenham last month, and that display clearly caught the eye of Ann and Alan Potts, but we wish them all the best in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham on Sunday.
A top horse moving yards is always a bit of a story, but given the injuries suffered by Freddy Tylicki recently it is important to put these things into perspective. I know myself how dangerous the life of a jockey is so I would certainly like to send my best wishes to him, and those around him at this difficult time.
It has been fantastic to see how much money has been raised by the racing community over the past week or so and hopefully that will help him as he starts his recovery.
Looking back at the weekend, I thought Shantou Village was running a good race when he slipped on landing at the last in the Rising Stars Novices’ Chase. In fairness, Wincanton wouldn’t have been the ideal track for him, bear in mind he was giving 9lbs away to a potentially very good horse, and that form could be franked further if Frodon runs well in the Bet Victor Gold Cup on Saturday.
The big positive is that Shantou Village came out the race without a scratch on him after his fall, and he will have a break now before we decide where to go with him in the spring.
Fingerontheswitch ran well for a long way in the Badger Ales but he did seem to tire so we might drop him back in trip next time out, and we hope he will be winning races in his own grade sooner rather than later.
The Young Master and Carole’s Destrier were taken out of the Badger Ales with the ground too quick, but both will go to Newbury next week for a racecourse gallop and that will hopefully sharpen them up. The Young Master is then likely to go straight to the Becher Chase up at Aintree for a crack at the Grand National fences, whilst Carole’s Destrier still has the Hennessy Gold Cup on his agenda later this month.
We were very pleased with Prettylittlething up at Huntingdon on Tuesday as she won the novices’ handicap chase in good style. As her name suggests, she is only a little horse but she is very tough, and it was an extra thrill for the owners having Richard Johnson on board for the victory.
Looking ahead to the weekend now and the focus for most will be on Cheltenham, but for us it will be a relatively quiet few days…
Danimix is our sole runner at Cheltenham on Friday and he goes in the veterans’ handicap chase which is first on the card this year. The trip might be a touch on the sharp side for him, which might also be the case for several of them, but he is in as good a form as we have ever had him so we are hopeful he can put in a strong performance.
Very Extravagant has won her last three and she hopefully goes in the 3m1f handicap hurdle on Saturday. The uphill finish at Cheltenham should suit her down to the ground as she is as tough and as genuine as they come, and off a light weight she could just run on into a place.
The Greatwood Hurdle is always a competitive contest and we are pleased to have Rossetti entered on Sunday. This is a big step up for him but he is fresh and well and can hopefully do himself justice.
Also on Sunday, Sean Corby will take the ride on Solomn Grundy in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle, and he is a horse we like. He fell first time out for me at Plumpton last March after arriving from David Pipe, before improving to win a novice hurdle at Market Rasen, and fingers crossed he can run well for his owner.
Away from Cheltenham, Ashcott Boy goes to Wetherby on Saturday but he is one the handicapper may just have hold of. Having said that, he is dropping in grade in the handicap chase and he could have each way claims as a result.