We love Catterick on New Year’s Day, as we’ve made the pilgrimage up there several times over the last five years, and each year we’ve been lucky enough to come away with a winner, and this year we came away with two winners, from two runners.
Park This One got the ball rolling in the first race as he defied a penalty to win the novice hurdle. He had been 4th in a Grade 2 on his previous start, and deserved to win again. We’ll aim to qualify him for the EBF Final now, but might look to step him up in Grade again later this season when he can go up in trip too.
Git Maker followed up in the class 3 novice handicap chase, to open his account over fences. He had won three novice hurdles last season, and is a model of consistency having been 2nd on his first two attempts over fences. I’d like to hope he can keep winning these novice handicap chases, before he develops into a Midlands National type for next season.
I was delighted that Hardy Du Seuil won a valuable Class 2 handicap hurdle on ITV at Sandown last weekend. He was a decent novice chaser last season, but we hadn’t got it quite right with him this season, but he appreciated dropping back to 2m on deep ground around a stiff track, and won off a reduced handicap mark. I have put him in the £155,000 BetFair hurdle at Newbury, and hope he might squeak in at the bottom of the weights….
Colonel Harry ran a belter in the Grade 1 Tolworth at Sandown on Saturday, to be 4th beaten only 6 lengths. He jumped slightly out to his left as well, and so arguably we can upgrade the performance too. We’ll find him an easier assignment on his next outing where he can hopefully defy a penalty in a novice hurdle, before we step him back up in Grade in the spring.
Talking of Grade 1’s, I was thrilled to see You Wear It Well running her heart out to be 2nd in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury on New Year’s Eve. She is a very smart prospect, and all roads lead to the Cheltenham Festival with her now. Whilst, Passing Well stayed on strongly to be 4th in the Challow too. He is a lovely young horse, and will head to the Albert Bartlett at the Festival. However, he looks a proper 3m staying chaser to really look forward to. We are lucky to have such smashing horses on the team.