Another across the card double last week has kept the scoreboard ticking over nicely as we move onto 34 winners for the season. Early Morning Rain won on her hurdling debut under Sam Twiston-Davies and Thomas Macdonagh bolted up in a novice hurdle at Hexham under Page Fuller. Unfortunately Gavin has been sitting out this week due to a bruised elbow from a fall at Carlisle last Sunday, but we have a great team of jockeys to back him up and thankfully the horses remain in great form in the lead up to the BetVictor meeting at Cheltenham this weekend, when hopefully Gavin will be back riding.
Early Morning Rain won a bumper last season and was an excellent 5th in a Cheltenham bumper in the spring, and the form of that race has been franked. However, we turned the form around with the winner of that race on our hurdling debut at Fontwell on Friday. It was a lovely performance and she looks tailor made for the Grade 2 Mares Final at Newbury in March, but we’ll try to win a listed novice hurdle on route.
Early Morning Rain wins her novice on hurdlig debut.
Meanwhile, Thomas Macdonagh annihilated the opposition to win his novice hurdle in emphatic fashion. We had always thought he was capable of a performance like that, but he wasn’t really a bumper horse (2nd in two last season) and he needed his hurdling debut when he was 4th at Warwick on good ground. I’d like to hope he can keep progressing over hurdles this season, but I look forward to seeing him over a fence next season, where I hope he can really excel.
Thomas Macdonagh wins his novice hurdle for an across the card double.
Looking forward to the BetVictor meeting at Cheltenham this coming weekend, we should have a few decent chances. Some Day Soon has won four novice hurdles this season already and was a decent 3rd in the Grade 2 Persian War at Chepstow, and he should improve further for this step up in trip again, but its likely to be mightily competitive. Fact of the Matter won over the cross country fences at the December meeting last year, after he was 2nd in this race last season. He warmed up for this when 5th in the Belgian Grand National, and should relish this again providing the ground isn’t too soft. Meanwhile, our recent impressive Carlisle bumper winner Legends Ryde will run in the Listed bumper and should certainly have a chance. Pacify will head for the Supreme Novice Trail on the Sunday – he is unbeaten over hurdles with 5 wins coming from 5 starts, with his latest win coming in a Listed Novice hurdle at Kempton, and he is looking to make it 6 from 6 in this Grade 2. Exciting times for the team…..as can be seen from the following film clip: