I am delighted to say that with another couple of winners this week, we have now surpassed our previous best total in a season with 27 winners coming from a 20% strike rate. There are just 8 trainers in the country operating with a better strike rate this season. Long may the luck continue into the spring with the Festival just around the corner.
Scorpion Sid was the horse to take us passed our previous best tally when he romped home at Ffos Las last Sunday. He won on his racecourse debut at Chepstow in January when bolting up over hurdles over 2m4 and repeated the dose with a penalty, but this time over 2 miles. He looks to be a very useful galloper who surely will improve even further when we send him over a trip and get him over fences.
Scorpion Sid's owners picking up their second trophy.
Kalahari Queen added her second win of the season when scoring in decisive fashion on her handicap debut at Exeter on Friday. Having won her novice at Lingfield, she was 2nd with a penalty at Catterick where she found the track a bit tight. She relished the slight step up in trip and the track at Exeter, and hardly came out of second gear. She’s a natural chaser in the making, and fits the cliché “whatever she achieves over hurdles is a bonus”. She could be really quite exciting for next season.
Kalahari Queen wins on handicap debut.
The Cherry Pickers is a partnership made up of ex-members of KRH which was set up by my old Corporal (Jordan Wylie) with the plan to win the two Military races at Sandown – The Royal Artillery Gold Cup and the Grand Military Gold Cup. In 2016, we were narrowly beaten into second in the Grand Military, and in 2017 we finished runner up in the Royal Artillery before our horse fell in the Grand Military. This year Midnight Monty filled the runner up spot again in the Royal Artillery last week and we hope to go one better in the Grand Military next month!
The Cherry Pickers are 2nd in the RA Gold Cup again.
Meanwhile, we also hit the cross bar when Monbeg Theatre was beaten in the shadows of the winning post at Ludlow under an inspired ride from Page Fuller. Unfortunately, a bad blunder 3 out cost us valuable momentum and we were beaten half a length. In any event it was lovely to see Monbeg back to near his best after a frustrating run with him. I hope the handicapper doesn’t react, and actually lets him win another race first.
We dropped Carntop in at the deepend when letting him make his hurdling debut in the Grade 2 Dovecote at Kempton on Saturday. Having shown a pretty decent level of form on the flat, we were hoping he’d finish in the top half dozen and then we’d let him take his chance in the Supreme Novice Hurdle at the Festival. However, he was a bit too keen early on and got quite tired, so Gavin looked after him and no doubt he’ll improve a ton for the experience and we’ll just lower our sights now and let him enjoy himself in a lower grade.