Well luck wasn’t on our side at Wincanton on Thursday where we ran Shockingtimes in the Somerset National. Unfortunately we didn't really have a chance as everything went wrong for him. The start was a shambles and as he dwelt from a standing start so Tom had to give him a kick going into the first and he didn't jump it that well, and he was unable to get into any rhythm which affected his jumping. He then couldn't get around Upham Atom who was dropping back through the field and took us back with him. Having managed to get passed him, we looked as though we were finally creeping into contention on the second circuit but then Royal Palladium almost knocked shocker over at the last down the back, and tom did well to keep the partnership intact...and sensibly pulled him up. Ultimately it just wasn't our day.
As to where we go next, really depends on how he is. I wouldn't be averse to going straight to the series chase final at Haydock on 26th March. Alternatively we could go to Sandown on route for the Royal Artillery Gold Cup, or we could still use our novice hurdle as a prep run for Haydock.
We ran two promising mares up at Market Rasen yesterday. Kassis had won last time out and still looked on the right side of the handicapper, but found 2m5 on heavy ground a bit too much of a stamina test. The ground was officially soft, good to soft in places, but the heavens opened all morning and it was heavy by the time she ran, and her stamina just gave away inside the final 2 furlongs. Meanwhile Buche De Noel was making her debut for us in the Graduation Chase on the same card. She reached for a fence in the home straight and must have tweaked something as she went wrong behind and so Brendan pulled her up – we’ll get her checked out and fingers crossed its nothing more serious than a pulled muscle.
With Fontwell being cancelled tomorrow which is frustrating as both Tea Caddy and Beauchamp Eagle looked to have winning chances, it looks like I might be able to take the children for a ride.