Well, the rain has fallen, we're onto the grass gallops and already it shows as Present View ran a cracker at Cheltenham on Friday to be beaten only a head after a terrible blunder at the last…. All roads will now hopefully lead to the Paddy Power with him.
Some of our horses have just needed their first runs, and I cannot tell you the difference it makes when you can get onto the grass at home. We’re very lucky in Lambourn, as we have the use of some of the best grass gallops in the country, and it does make a huge difference.
The plan all along has been to give Present View a ‘pipe opener’ in a novice hurdle, which should put him spot on for the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on 15th November. We were denied an easier opportunity at Huntingdon earlier in the week as the ground turned heavy, so we took our chance in a class 2 at Cheltenham on Friday – the opening race of the Showcase meeting. He ran a lovely race, and would have won but for the mistake at the last flight of hurdles. He sustained a small cut to one of his legs, but that shouldn’t put us back much, and all roads lead to the Paddy Power now – fingers crossed!!
We ran The Duchess of Cornwall’s home bred, Ravenous, at Kempton on Sunday – he stepped up on his previous performances and was a very creditable 3rd. He is improving all the time, but he has a few stamina limitations, and so wont be running through the depth of the winter. However, he has shown enough to suggest that he can win before he has a holiday through December and January.
To The Sky was also 2nd yesterday at Plumpton to cap off a productive, but frustrating weekend….! He ran another very good race under Conor Shoemark, who gave him a lovely ride. His form figures read 1232 since he arrived with us this summer, and he is a credit to his owners, White Diamond Racing. Imperial Plan ran in the same race and was 5th – he needs a wind operation now, and could be very well handicapped on his return in the spring, when we can hopefully string a few wins together….