It has been another productive month despite the problems the 'Beast from the East' has thrown at us, as we’ve notched up 3 more winners which takes our tally to 30 for the season and in turn maintaining a 20% strike rate. It has been a huge team effort and to celebrate we went out to the Indian for dinner on Tuesday evening, where Gavin kindly picked up the tab.
Presenting Pearl was responsible for adding the 30th winner on Monday at Huntingdon where she won on her hurdling debut, adding to her bumper win earlier this season. I think we’ll look to head to Cheltenham for a listed novice on her next start.
Presenting Pearl wins on hurdles debut.
We had a lovely double at Haydock last week where Hogan’s Height landed his hat-trick in impressive fashion in a competitive handicap chase. He jumped from fence to fence and looks to be an improving sort. He stays and jumps and we might think about targeting the Ladbrokes Trophy next season.
Hogan's Height completes the hat-trick.
I was delighted that Shockingtimes won the Veterans race as he had been threatening to win all season but had appeared very unlucky on 3 occasions. However, Tom O’Brien gave him a lovely ride and he won with any amount of ease, which is exactly what he deserved. He’s not been the easiest horse to train, and so it was a very enjoyable winner.
The majority of our other runners this month have all been placed. Kalahari Queen was an excellent 2nd in the Grade 2 Mares Final at Newbury on Saturday. She’s improved throughout the season and was only beaten by a stronger mare who was a year older than her. She’ll have a well-deserved holiday now and I very much look forward to seeing her novice chasing next season.
Lostnfound was 2nd under her penalty again at Sedgefield, before finding the Grade 2 at Newbury beyond her, but she’ll win again in calmer waters. Meanwhile, I was thrilled Some Day Soon was 2nd on debut for us in a bumper at Huntingdon under a nice ride from Page Fuller. He was keen enough but stayed on well to the line and he might line up in the Grade 2 bumper at the Aintree Festival.
Having missed out on a run at the Cheltenham Festival, Dans le Vent was 2nd under his penalty at Ludlow earlier this month and we might consider Aintree with him, or the Class 2 novice at the April Cheltenham meeting. Talking of Cheltenham unfortunately, Thebannerkingrebel choked in the Champion Bumper. After two easy wins from as many starts, it's the first time he's been off the bridle, so the first time this issue has come to light….. Although a shame, it’s not too disappointing as its easily rectifiable and he'll be ok after a wind op.
Another horse to miss out on the Cheltenham Festival this season is Double Treasure who rattled off a 4 timer in the autumn until he came unstuck on soft ground in the BetVictor Gold Cup. We’ve kept him back for the spring ground, and hope the Topham might be suitable for him….lets hope spring comes soon!
Having fallen at Newbury in February Three Ways had a wind op and missed his intended target at the Festival and instead went to Hereford on Tuesday. He jumped well in the main but a mistake at the 2nd last cost us any chance of winning and he finished 3rd. However, it should have restored his confidence and he’ll go to Fontwell next month for his final run of the season.
We targeted Monbeg Theatre at the valuable Cheltenham Festival consolation race at Kempton on the Saturday after the Festival and he ran a blinder there to be 3rd and he deserves to get his head in front this season too.
We started the month with Midnight Monty trying to win the Grand Military for The Cherrypickers where he ran creditably to be 3rd. Having won it several times as a jockey I seem destined to hit the cross bar as a trainer. However, the partnership seems as determined as me to win it, and we’ll be back for another crack at it next season!