We have started the season in the same form as we ended last season, and I was delighted to add another to the new seasonal tally at Carlisle last week as Breaking Bits deservedly got his head in front once again. He had finished second 7 times since his last win, so the handicapper had never really given him a chance. However, with Wincanton being cancelled last week the BHA put on an added race at Carlisle and with a bit of a quick re jig of plans we managed to get the horse, the jockey and the owner to head North instead of South and he picked up some decent prize money as a result.
Breaking Bits wins nicely at Carlisle.
Having won on his previous start, it just didn't happen for Lord Topper at Worcester last week where we finished 4th. The gallop promised to be strong with two front runners but they dawdled up the home straight the first time and then quickened down the back straight and obviously, we were caught flat footed. We stayed on inside the home straight but the race had gone away in front of us. I knew we needed to go up in trip, but thought we’d get away with it around Worcester in a fast run race where stamina would come into play at the end. However, as the Racing Post reported: “they didn't go a great gallop, and Lord Topper who was debuting in a handicap on only his third start over hurdles, lacked the pace to get in a blow once the race developed.”
Having won over 1m5 on the flat, whatever we achieved over 2m over hurdles was going to be a bonus as he’ll stay every yard of 3 miles in time. Having won over 2m on our last start, I wanted to see if we could exploit his opening handicap mark over the minimum trip before going up, but that was my mistake and so we’ll certainly go up to 2m4 on our next start.
Lord Topper at Worcester.
Adrrastos won his maiden at the end of last season and so remains a novice until November. We tried to exploit that in a valuable class 3 novice at Newton Abbot last week, and although he ran well to be 3rd, we were interfered with by the loose horse and so were never able to get into a strong rhythm up front. We might step him up in trip on his next start.
Our Reward won a couple of novice hurdles last season, and I have been looking forward to sending him chasing. We took him down to Ffos Las where he put in a decent round of jumping to be 3rd (World Hurdle winner, Cole Harden, was 2nd), and there should be a nice handicap to be won with this chap this summer.
Of our other runners recently, Midnight Chill made a nice hurdling debut to be 4th at Uttoxeter last weekend, and Filemon was also 4th in a bumper on his racecourse debut. Both these horses will improve for a summer holiday now and I look forward to the future with them.