As our season draws to a close, I am pleased that we finished with a great set of figures as we amassed a personal best of just shy of £360,000 in prize money with 31 winners, whilst once again we finished in the top 40 in the league table. Astonishingly 34% of our runners finished in the first two, with 51 runners coming 2nd, which although rather frustrating, many of them were in Graded and Listed races. Double Treasure, Thebannerkingrebel, Monbeg Theatre, Adrrastos, Dans Le Vent, and Shantewe all ran well in top level races. Although the seasonal highlight was undoubtedly Fact of the Matter winning over the Cross-Country fences at Cheltenham's December meeting. Our thoughts now turn to next season (which starts next weekend!) and we are lucky to have a very exciting team of horses going forward from this season, whilst we'll obviously sell some of the others that haven't performed and look to reinvest into a new crop of younger horses too. I really hope we can build on this and move even further up the ladder next season.
I was thrilled to see Double Treasure win his third novice hurdle of the season at Fontwell last week, as he shouldered a double penalty to success under his new jockey, Max Kendrick. Following on from his excellent 2nd in the Grade 2 Persian War, Double Treasure then suffered atrial fibrillation at Cheltenham in November and underwent heart surgery. He came back to form when 2nd at Fontwell earlier this month and capitalised on a decent opportunity last week. We’ll aim him for the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter, whilst we might try to pick up the valuable race at Haydock that Monbeg Theatre won last season as well.
Double Treasure wins his 3rd novice hurdle of the season.
Unfortunately we’ve hit the crossbar too many times this month – a total of 10 seconds through April has been rather frustraing, although Thistle Do Nicely was a very promising 2nd in the Class 2 novice at Cheltenham this month. Having won his two novice hurdles this season, he has improved further and will make into a cracking novice chase prospect next season, when we’ll aim him for the Novice handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival – the race we won with Present View a couple of years ago.
Alrightjack filled the runners up spot on two occassions when shouldering a penalty for his win at Lingfield earlier this season. He is a lovely young horse who hasn’t been suited by making his own running in novice events, and I feel that he could develop into a high class staying handicap hurdler next season for the Glyn-Davies family. Whilst in the same ownership, Chapmanshype improved from his hurdling debut to be2nd at Chepstow and looks like he should be winning his novice this summer before progressing.
Alrightjack is 2nd again under his penalty.
Lostnfound made up for falling mid race up at the Scottish Natioanl meeting when she was 2nd at Ffos Las last weekend, and she should be winning early this summer. Whilst the same can be said for Lakeside Pearl who showed improvement on just her second start for us, when she was 2nd at Taunton last week. Richie Valentine was also 2nd at Fontwell on his hurdling debut, and will head to the Doncaster spring sales now.
I was thrilled with College Oak who was 2nd on his racecourse debut in a bumper at Fontwell. He showed a lot of promise as he was green when the pace of the race lifted around the final turn for home, but stayed on strongly up the hill to gallop through the line well. He’ll improve enormously both mentally and physically for that run and shouldn’t be far away next time out. There are a few spaces available in this partnership, which is open to any Old Radleian’s, parents or anyone connected to Radley College.....?
College Oak is a fine 2nd on his racecourse debut for the Radleian Society Racing Syndicate.
To conclude our best season to date in terms of prize money won, I must thank you all for supporting us, as without that support we’d not be able to achieve any of this. Our staff have once again been outstanding and the horses have kept their form throughout the season. To celebrate we took the team off to Swindon for an evening of Ten-Pin Bowling, which was great fun. Rodney Farrant was the champion and James Stewart (our farrier) picked up the wooden spoon. We all had an enjoyable evening. It was also a bit of a send-off for Ollie Signy who will head off to start himself in the training ranks, whilst we also welcomed a new conditional jockey to the team as Ben Hicks has arrived for the new season. He has some valuable experience in the Point-to-Point field and has ridden 3 winners under rules so far and so still claims a valuable 10lbs. Ben will be a great addition to our team alongside Max (who claims 5lbs) and obviously Page who now claims 3lbs and has ridden 18 winners in her first season as a conditional. We have a wonderful team of owners, staff and horses and I am already looking forward to the new season beginning on Saturday!
So now we head into the summer and I think we have an exciting team of horses for the next couple of months and I look forward to seeing Pacify, Some Day Soon, and Thebannerkingrebel spear head the novice hurdlers, whilst Carntop will be an exciting novice chaser and Adrrastos, Three Ways and Our Three Sons should be able to take high order in handicaps. We’ll have a few bumper horses to run, and I’d like to think that we’ll find Filemon, Our Reward and Between the Waters suitable races to win as well.