Rain, or the lack of it, continues to be the hot topic among trainers and racing fans at the moment and plenty of ours certainly need to see some cut in the ground before they run. We have been making plenty of entries, keeping our fingers crossed for some rain, but it just hasn’t arrived and as we have seen with Taunton already abandoning their fixture next week, there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
On the positive side, the horses that we have managed to run continue to be in good form and it was fantastic to reach our half century at Warwick this afternoon. Considering we only had 60 winners in the whole of last season it is a great achievment to reach 50 at such an early stage and the whole yard deserves credit.
We have some lovely mares in the yard right now and two of them, Indian Stream and Very Extravagant, have been in the winners’ enclosure of late.
Despite getting hampered down the back straight, Indian Stream ran an absolute blinder when winning at Wetherby last week. She has gone up 5lbs for that win but she is as tough and as genuine as they come so we couldn’t be happier.
She will have a little break now, which means she won’t be running in the Bet Victor Gold Cup, and her main target for the spring will be the mares’ race at the Cheltenham Festival. She won there in April so we know she handles the track and she would be entitled to run every bit as well as Pass The time did, when 4th in the same race for us last term.
Our Uttoxeter winner Very Extravagant is slow but she has the heart of a lion, she jumps, and she stays all day. She has gone up 7lbs for that win and she will have an entry for the 3m1f handicap chase at Cheltenham next Saturday, so hopefully she gets in and can run well.
It hasn’t been all good news though, Clondaw Cracker was disappointing on his hurdling debut at Wetherby but has come home fine which is the main thing. We felt he got a little bit too wound up prior to the race, but we go again with him
I must give a special mention to Peter the Mayo Man who won his 3rd race on the spin for us at Newbury on Thursday afternoon. He had some back problems last year but he’s starting to relax in his races this season and he certainly has an engine, which is very encouraging. We will see what the handicapper does to him but either way he will be given a break now after a busy couple of months.
Looking ahead to the weekend and we have plenty entered at Wincanton on Saturday and hopefully we have one or two chances.
Given that there is only three entered in the 2m novices’ hurdle we are hoping that Tell The Tale can be in the money! Seriously though, the horse of Paul Nicholls will be tough to beat but our lad is fit and well and we will be looking to make sure it is a true run race.
Ballydague Lady is declared for the Conditional Jockeys Handicap Chase but after winning at Warwick on Friday, we will make a late call on her participation.
The Rising Stars Novices Chase looks like a cracking little race this year but we are very happy with Shantou Village. Win, lose or draw he will be having a break after this but Noel schooled him over fences on Friday morning and thought he was in fantastic form so we are more than happy to be taking our chance.
We have three in the Badger Ales Trophy and all are in good order. This was always going to be the target for The Young Master and he is another one that schooled well on Friday morning. Carole’s Destrier finished 5th in this last year but we hope he is a touch sharper going into the race this time and both will be running if the ground is safe.
Fingerontheswitch is getting a lot of weight down at the bottom and we will be taking our time on him. Our main aim will be to get him settled and jumping and if we can do that, he could well be a player in the home straight. He fell last time out but James Best has been in schooling him at home and he has been very happy so there is every chance he could run well.