After notching another couple of winners in early September, we have put ourselves into a strong position going into the autumn and I am very much looking forward to what promises to be a successful campaign.
I was delighted that the first two of our “winter horses” both won on their seasonal reappearance. Our Reward went back up to Sedgefield to win the second of his novice hurdles under Will Featherstone. As the race was a conditional jockeys race he will escape a penalty in another novice, and so we might consider going back up there in a couple of weeks for another novice hurdle. He has been really pleasing me this season, and he might be one for the EBF final at Sandown later in the season, but whatever happens this season, he will most certainly improve when sent chasing.
Fact of the Matter was the second of our winners before the September break, and he looked impressive when winning his first novice chase at Worcester. Having won his bumper in impressive fashion he unseated on his hurdling debut when looking likely to win and then got bogged down in the soft ground as he was struggling with his wind. However, after a wind op over the summer he came out and won really well, and now he should be able to progress from here.
Our other runners have all run up to form as well with Belcanto finishing 2nd at Fontwell, Carrigkerry was also 2nd at Southwell, whilst Breaking Bits and Our Three Sons have also been placed once again too.
We are now in this two-week period where there are hardly any jump meetings, which although is frustrating when the horses are in such good form, it does give us all time to get some graft into the rest of the string. Of the more forward horses this season I am looking forward to seeing Three Ways this season. He has had a wind op over the summer and an early season target might be the Persian War Novice hurdle in October, or the Class 2 novice at Cheltenham later in the month. He has been working with Orchard Park who looks to have really progressed from last season and this bumper winner should hold his own in novice hurdles this season.
One horse who we are all looking forward to seeing back on the track is Val De Law. He was placed in a Grade 1 Novice Chase on his final start in 2014/15 season, but then strained a tendon and was off all of last season. Still a novice over fences, I hope this chap can continue from where he left off and be a Graded performer this season. An early target could be the Henry VIII Novice Chase at Sandown in early December and if we dream a bit we hope he could be a valid Arkle contender at the Cheltenham Festival…..
We hosted what appeared to be a very successful owners lunch party last weekend, when the sun shone on us all, and I hope all of our owners had a lovely afternoon in the garden after seeing their horses parade. There really appears to be a buzz around the yard at present, and I hope this continues as the season progresses.