Strength In Depth And A Look Ahead To The Weekend Runners
Friday 14th October 2016
Firstly, I would like to say that I am delighted to be on board with jumpsracing.co.uk this season and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts and views.
We are very happy with the form of the stable; at the time of writing we are on 39 winners which puts us near the top numbers wise, and 5th in terms of prize money which we have to be delighted about. We have also had plenty of success with our flat horses over the summer which is another bonus and shows that the horses are running well.
We are in good shape looking ahead to the winter with plenty of strength in depth throughout the yard. We have got a good mixture of horses with experienced staying chasers, new handicappers, novices and a good bunch of bumper horses from last term to go hurdling, which means we are well covered in most divisions.
Clondaw Cracker is an example of a potentially nice horse as a novice hurdler this winter with his bumper win last season looking like a good one, he has done well over the summer. Shantou Village is obviously an exciting prospect for the novice chasing ranks and we are pleased to have already gotten a run into him over fences. We look forward to running him again soon, possibly at the first Cheltenham meeting next weekend.
The Young Master and Carole’s Destrier both have the Grand National as their long term plan which is exciting, whilst The Druids Nephew is likely to be aimed at the Cheltenham Festival and given that he ran so well in the Bet365 Gold Cup last back end at Sandown, he could also very well be receiving a return ticket for the last big race of the season.
Earlier this week we took a select team of horses, perhaps the best known of whom was Shantou Village, away to Salisbury for a racecourse gallop. Thanks to the racecourse for accommodating us, it was lovely to see the horses stretching out on what was super ground. It was good to get the horses on the lorry for a day out and Noel was happy with how they all worked, so it was a more than worthwhile exercise.
After visiting Salisbury on Tuesday morning it was straight in the car and off to Huntingdon, where we had a winner with Perfect Timing in the afternoon, before I zoomed off to Wolverhampton to watch Mrs Burbidge finish a creditable 2nd on the flat in the evening.
We have had plenty of runners of late but I do want to mention how much I enjoyed returning to Hereford last week. It was sad that it was lost in the first place but it isn’t a million miles away from the yard and it was great to be back, although the only negative was actually getting in to the course with the traffic as bad as ever through the town!
Looking ahead, the Welsh Champion Hurdle card has been moved to this weekend at Ffos Las and we have a good bunch of horses heading over the Severn Bridge. Bishops Court has a chasing campaign on the agenda in the near future but he will have a run in the handicap hurdle to start his season, with Sean Corby taking 3lbs off.
Philip Hobbs looks to have the one to beat in the juvenile maiden hurdle (Defi Du Seuil) with his horse boasting some nice French form on his CV, but Ochos Rios makes his 2nd start for us and fingers crossed he can acquit himself well.
Chantara Rose is a likeable mare and lines up in the novice chase. She has been schooling well at home and I am hoping she can win her fair share over fences.
Johns Luck likes it at Ffos Las but it is likely he will improve for the run as he lines up in the 2m4f handicap chase.
Later on we run Vancouver in the bumper, a race we won twelve months ago. Put a line through his last run on ground that was far too soft. Providing we don’t get any more rain, he is a horse that could run a solid race.
Finally, I’m certainly not alone in waiting for the heavens to open, indeed I think every trainer in the country has rain at the top of their wish list! With the ground still generally pretty quick Sunday provides a rare day off and I’ll be enjoying some family time. My son Conor had his 1st birthday in the week so it will be a treat to get stuck into a nice Sunday lunch together before things ramp up another notch.