Well as 2016 comes to a close, I am pleased to report that numerically we have had the best 12 months to date with 25 winners, and we are on target for our best season ever. Obviously, we need to turn some of our many seconds into winners, and that will be my New Years resolution!
We’ve had a busy December with the horses continuing to run well as over 50% have been placed and I was delighted that Kapgarde King won again so impressively at Huntingdon on Boxing Day. Like so many of ours, he’s a far better chaser than a hurdler and he’s just needed a bit of time to mature into the horse he is today…and he’s only going to improve too. He was given a fine ride by Page Fuller who was having her first winner back after breaking her ankle in the summer. It is great to have her back in the team and she is great value for her claim.
Kapgarde King wins again over fences.
Talking of better chasers than hurdlers, I was pleased with Double Treasure’s chasing debut when he was 2nd earlier in the month. The penny is beginning to drop with him, and it shouldn’t be long before he finds his way into the winners enclosure after a short break. Another horse to finish 2nd on her chasing debut was Mollyanna, and she is bound to improve on the back of this first run in 18 months.
Double Treasure finishes 2nd on his chasing debut.
Mollyanna was 2nd at Wincanton on Boxing Day, which is where Ardkilly Witness was involved in a “Foinavan” type pile up which resulted in the race being void. Watching the incident back, Ardkilly Witness was bowling along jumping boldly and accurately and then I can see him shy at two men on the inside of the track and slow right up into the open ditch - Michael Nolan was shot into the ditch and then Ardkilly Witness clambered over the fence before the rest of the field came down in a domino effect. Ardkilly Witness continued to bowl along and jump several more fences afterwards so I'd hope his confidence hasn’t been affected by the incident. Having run well at Sandown earlier in the month when 3rd in a competitive handicap, I’d have thought he should have every chance in those Military Races again this year.
Three Ways has continued to run well in Graded and Listed events this season, and I was pleased to see him qualify for the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival when he was 4th at Wincanton. He should appreciate a step up in trip and the Final will be his target. Another horse to please me on Boxing Day was Baraymi who was 3rd at Fontwell. He’s a talented horse, but we’ve not had a clear run with him, so I hope he can build on that run going forward now.
Baraymi in the winners enclosure.
We look to have a smashing bunch of youngsters this season and the three bumper horses we have run this month have all performed with great credit. Naranja was 2nd under a penalty in a decent Carlisle bumper, whilst Blue Bullet ran well to be 2nd, and I was delighted with Pride of Pemberley who was 5th of 14 at Ffos Las and beaten only 7 lengths.
Blue Bullet finishes 2nd in a bumper.
We’ll make the trip to Catterick on New Years Day for Future Gilded, who looked to have every opportunity to win on his first run back from 615 days off the track at Doncaster earlier this month, only to tip up at the first fence! Let’s hope he makes amends on Sunday! Between the Waters will also head north after he was 3rd earlier this month at Leicester, but realisitcally he wont be seen to best effect until he's in handicap company.
Happy New Year to you all, and let's hope 2017 is a year to remember with plenty of fun and success.