I was over the moon to start of the week with a winner at Southwell yesterday. We have always thought a lot of Monbeg Theatre, and after he won his bumper last season, we looked after him with a view that he was always going to be a better hurdler, and in time a better chaser. He stepped up from his hurdling debut where he was 2nd over an inadequate 2 miles to win impressively over 2m4. Gavin Sheehan gave him an uncomplicated ride, and he won going away at the line. He should be able to defy a penalty before we think about stepping him up in grade in the spring.
I was also pleased with Borguy, who was 4th yesterday – he’s improving all of the time, and now he qualifies for a handicap mark.
Major Milborne finished 3rd in a novice chase at Ffos Las on Sunday. He wasn’t beaten far but I was disappointed, as I believe he could have won. Unfortunately he hit the front four fences out and just wandered around in front and lost momentum, when Brendan got him back into his stride he was then squeezed out after the last. It has to go down as a missed opportunity.
Our next runner will be Present View who is on target for the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday, one of the first major handicaps of the winter jumps season. He is in terrific form, and this has been the plan ever since he won at the Cheltenham Festival last season. We gave him a prep run over hurdles in a class 2 at Cheltenham 4 weeks ago where he ran a cracker to be beaten a head after a terrible blunder at the last. Unfortunately, he came back with an annoying skin cut to one of his legs, but our head girl and vet have worked wonders, and he’s in great nick for Saturday.
We had a big press day yesterday, and there have been some lovely articles written about us. We are in an incredibly privileged position that being a smaller yard we have had some great publicity leading into the big race, and I only hope our lad runs as well as we hope he can….. He’s done his last bit of work now, and he’ll school tomorrow in front of the Channel 4 cameras and then we’ll just tick him over until Saturday. Fingers crossed…..