Baltimore Rock was a non-runner over the weekend which meant we only ran one at Cheltenham on Saturday, with Impulsive Star finishing 4th in the Albert Bartlett-sponsored contest under Sam Waley-Cohen.
They didn’t go fast enough for him in the early stages but he kept on galloping up the hill, and ultimately I thought he performed well on just his 2nd start for us. We will look for a lower grade novices’ hurdle for him next time out, in the hope of getting another win under his belt, before we turn our attention to one of the bigger races in the spring.
Tikkanbar ran a lovely race on debut when 2nd at Ffos Las in the bumper on Monday, and having looked the winner as they crossed the line, it is hard to believe he was collared for the win. Owned by my Dad, it was obviously disappointing to see the horse get beaten in a photo finish, but he is still a big baby and should improve for the run, so overall we have to be pleased.
It’s a real family affair being able to train horses for my Dad and hopefully we can enjoy plenty more good days out with Tikkanbar, who is a scopey chaser in the making to look forward to.
Soupy Soups has improved with every run so far this season which is satisfying, and it was fantastic to see him winning in such good style at Wincanton on Tuesday. He has come out of the race well and has an entry for Fakenham on Sunday which he will to take up, so hopefully he can put in another strong performance.
It was fantastic to have our first runner for JP McManus at Uttoxeter on Friday with Dead Right running well in testing conditions on his racecourse debut. It is brilliant to have an owner like that in the yard, and he is a horse we like going forward.
Looking ahead to the weekend now and I’ll be at Ascot to see The Druids Nephew making his seasonal debut in the Silver Cup Handicap Chase. He has had a nice long break but he is a real favourite of the yard, and we are delighted that he and Tom Scudamore will be renewing their partnership.
We were lucky enough to win the bet365 Gold Cup with The Young Master last season but The Druids Nephew ran a cracker in behind him that day, despite being hampered badly, so we hope he can put in another strong performance in what looks a hot contest.
Elsewhere on the Ascot card we run Walt in the novices’ handicap hurdle, and we are hoping he can build on a very encouraging 2nd place at Ffos Las first time out. He has been in good form at home and is a horse that Noel advised us to buy, so we are hopeful he can pick up some prize money.
Moving on and the JP McManus horse, Kimberlite Candy, will be tough to beat up at Newcastle on Saturday but James Best will be claiming a valuable 7lbs aboard Indian Brave in the novices’ hurdle, so we are hopeful he can give the favourite a race.
Lee Side Lady also makes the long trip north to Newcastle for the mares’ handicap hurdle over 2m4f and although she might only be small in stature she is certainly very tough, so fingers crossed she can run well.
Lastly, we send Pursuitofhappiness and Admiral Kid, as well as Soupy Soups, to Fakenham on Sunday with both in good form.
Pursuitofhappiness is one that shows more at home than he does on the track, but he is fresh and well so hopefully he can show us what he really can do in the novices’ handicap chase. Admiral Kid is one that is improving and going the right way and we hope he can continue that upward curve in the maiden hurdle.