It may be the last week of the season, but we are busier than ever with plenty of runners engaged across the country under both codes.
We enjoyed our trip to Ayr for the Scottish Grand National with Doing Fine running yet another impressive race. The early pace was strong, but he stayed galloping to finish 4th and picked up some valuable prize money in the process.
It has been an excellent season for the horse and the long-term target will be the Aintree Grand National in 2019.
Unfortunately, the ground was a touch on the quick side for Impulsive Star which meant he was withdrawn from the novices’ handicap chase on the same card. It was disappointing on the day, but he can retain his novice status for next season which will hopefully prove to be a positive.
We are always eager to pick up winners on the flat and that continued at Windsor on Monday night with The Detainee claiming the 1m3f handicap. I was concerned that the draw would hinder our chances, but Adam Kirby produced a peach of a ride, and it was lovely to see the horse win first time out.
Looking ahead, the last day of the season at Sandown has been a successful fixture for us and we will head to the Esher track on Saturday with a strong team.
The Young Master emerged from a first fence fall in the Scottish Grand National without a scratch which thankfully means he can take up the engagement in the Bet365 Gold Cup. A 6th place finish in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham was an encouraging return to form after a wind op, and as a former winner of the race we know that the course and distance suit.
Carole’s Destrier continues to work well at home so we are hopeful he can re-find his best form in the same race. First time cheekpieces will hopefully have a positive impact and we are certainly hopeful of an improved run at a venue he has won at before.
Solighoster appeared to tire slightly at Uttoxeter last time out so a drop back in trip for the novices’ handicap chase on Saturday should suit. Robbie Dunne has won on the horse before and a patient ride will hopefully see the horse pick up some prize money.
The final fixture of the season is always a marquee date on the calendar and I would like to congratulate Richard Johnson and Nicky Henderson on being named Champion Jockey and Trainer respectively.
We will be having a busy week with our flat horses once the jumps season ends and that starts at Wolverhampton on Saturday evening. Koubba put in a pleasing display when 3rd at the same venue last time out, so we are hopeful of another step in the right direction in the 1m6f handicap.