Winners have been hard to come by recently, but we were delighted with the way Doing Fine performed in the London National at Sandown on Saturday.
We knew he was in good form going into the race, so it was pleasing to see him finish strongly and we are keeping our fingers crossed he can maintain his form into the spring.
The Scottish Grand National is a potential long-term target, so he could have a little break now before coming back towards the end of February.
Aside from Sandown, I enjoyed seeing The Young Master put in a bold display in the Becher Chase at Aintree. He got a little bit tired on the run-in but jumped well, and could go to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day for the 0-145 handicap chase.
The cold weather has played havoc with the fixture list this week, but there is still plenty to look forward to over the coming weeks and months.
It was disappointing to have to withdraw Impulsive Star at Exeter last time, but he was slightly off colour and I felt it best to wait with him - the welfare of our horses always comes first. He seems to be fine at home now though, and could go to Catterick on Tuesday.
Espoir De Teillee could also head to the same venue as he looks to follow up an impressive debut success over hurdles at the North Yorkshire track He came out of that race in fine form, and is certainly one we are looking forward to running again soon.
Elsewhere, Shantou Village is looking happy in himself at the moment, but is having a little break ahead of the second half of the campaign as we wait for the better ground.
Our Punchestown Festival winner, Dead Right, banged himself at home which meant he has had a quiet first half of the campaign. He is working well now though which is excellent, and we hope to see him on the track towards the end of January.
It was fantastic to see Dieg Man win at Sedgefield on his British debut over hurdles, and he is another one who has come out his race in fine fettle. We should see him again on track again in the near future.
Talking of JP McManus owned horses, we were delighted to see Chirico Vallis claim the novices’ chase at Bangor on Friday afternoon. He took a tumble last time out so it was reassuring to see him jump efficiently and with real confidence, plus it is always a thrill to have a winner in the famous green and gold silks.
Moving forward to the weekend, we only have two runners declared but we are excited to see both in action.
Kalondra has been fantastic for us, and more than deserves his place in a competitive looking 2m5f novices’ chase at Cheltenham on Saturday afternoon. He performed well in a messy race at Wincanton last time out, and we hope he can make his presence felt.
Lastly, Clondaw Cracker makes his seasonal debut in the 2m4f novices’ hurdle at Southwell on Sunday. He disappointed last season after performing well as a bumper horse, but appears to be in decent nick now.