Up For Parol was an impressive winner at Wetherby earlier in March, and he followed up under a penalty at Ffos Las on Thursday. He is a seriously quick and accurate hurdler, and I look forward to seeing him develop physically over the summer and there might be a Graded race for him over hurdles in the autumn before he goes novice chasing. He certainly has an engine, and could be quite useful. He'll go out for a holiday now.
Up For Parol wins under a penalty.
Unfortunately we couldn’t add to our Cheltenham Festival winning tally. We ended up only taking two: Kiltealy Briggs was beaten 14 lengths in a very competitive renewal of the Plate. He would have been ideal for the Novice handicap chase, the race we won with Present View, but this year that race was replaced with the Mares chase. Whilst, Hogan’s Height was 6th in the Cross Country and now heads to the Grand National.
With the Irish dominating at the Cheltenham Festival, I’d like to think the English will turn the tables with them at Aintree next week. We’ll go there with a strong team consisting of Ga Law who will contest either the Grade 1 Novice chase over 2m4 or 3m. Chapmanshype will run in the 2m4 Grade 3 handicap, as will Thistle Do Nicely; whilst Stoney Mountain will run in the Grade 3 handicap over 3m on Grand National Day, and Hogan’s Height is on target for the big one on the Saturday!
An impressive 64% of our bumper runners have been in the top three this season, which bodes well for the future. One such horse was Viva Vamoos who was 2nd at Southwell. She was the first 4 year old we have run this season, and she certainly showed plenty of potential. Another exciting young horse is Starevitch (pictured below) who was 3rd in a competitive bumper at Huntingdon. He runs in HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s colours and for the Friends Of the Ebony Horse Club, which is a wonderful charity which aims to use horses to raise the education, life skills, wellbeing and aspirations of young people from disadvantaged communities within Lambeth.
Having not stayed 3m2 on his previous start, I was delighted to see Thomas Macdonagh run a game and honest race to be 2nd at Haydock back over 2m4. The ground had just dried up a bit too much for him, and unless we get some April showers, that might be his final start of the season. We did school him over the Grand National fences here in Lambourn this week, and I think he might be one for the Grand Sefton in December.
We haven’t had many other runners this month, but Hudson Yard was 3rd on her handicap debut, and Overrated Pastime was 4th again. I was pleased to see Quiet Penny run well to be 4th on her chasing debut, and I think she has the scope to improve further throughout the spring.
I remember my first race ride as if it was yesterday, and I was pleased to give young Will Featherstone (who is 16 years old) his first ride in public earlier this week. He has been working for us all season, and is a very talented rider. He had ridden quite a few pony race winners, and had had a couple of Pointing rides earlier this season before Point-to-Points were cancelled due to the latest lockdown, so it was good to be able to give him the opportunity. Three Ways gave him a nice safe ride, and I think Will looks to have a bright future ahead of him. It would be great to think he might be able to follow in Page’s footsteps and graduate through the ranks.