I have just come back down to earth after the most amazing couple of weeks, having just won the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham last week, and having had 6 winners since!
It is always incredible when plans come off, but to get Ga Law back from injury to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup (one of the two valuable handicap chases this side of Christmas) was an amazing team effort. What a horse, and what a ride from Johnny Burke. I’m not sure the Gold Cup was empty of champagne from 3pm till 3am! The party went from the Royal Box at Cheltenham to the Queens Arms at East Garston, Lambourn with the whole team from Folly House - what fun……. We had given Ga Law a prep run in the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase at Aintree where he was 3rd after over 600 days off the track, but it was tight to get him back out onto the track just 20 days later in the Paddy Power. However, he never missed a day, and he improved from his reappearance to put in a wonderfully determined run to get up in the final few strides of the race. We’ll give him a moment to recover now, and then consider stepping him up in trip for the Sky Bet Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster in January.
Ga Law wins the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
Thankfully, the whole yard has been in flying form this month, and I was delighted to see Tallow For Coal progressing from novice chasing last season to winning in open company on his seasonal debut. We found an intermediate handicap (for second season novices) and Tallow won pretty impressively. I think there is more to come from this chap, who is developing into a smart staying handicap chaser. Races like the Eider might come into consideration for him later this season.
Tallow For Coal wins at Lingfield.
You Wear It Well is a mare that we have always liked, and having won a bumper last season, she has now won two novice hurdles this season. She carried a penalty to a ‘bloodless victory’ at Hexham last week, and deserves to step up in class now, and will head to Haydock in mid-December for a Listed contest.
You Wear It Well wins under a penalty.
From Hexham to Wincanton, Alex drove across the county and delivered a lovely double there last week. I was thrilled for young Will Featherstone, who rode his first winner under rules on Cornicello. Will came to us two seasons ago but Covid and a bad injury left his career in the balance, and he has shown a wonderful attitude to bounce back, and I was so pleased to give him his first winner at my home track. He is a very instinctive rider, and is a very valuable 10lbs claimer. He gave Cornicallo a great ride and all credit goes to Value Racing Club for giving Will the opportunity.
Cornicello wins under Will Featherstone.
Ebonello won on the same card. She had won a bumper on her seasonal reappearance and won here on her hurdling debut. She jumped a bit big, and was a bit green, but battled bravely to win well in the end. She should be able to defy a penalty before she too goes up in Grade. It was lovely to see her win in the colours of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, and we celebrated her win with the Ebony Horse Club at Ascot last weekend.
Ebonello wins in Her Majesty The Queen Consort's colours.
I was thrilled, and relieved to see Passing Well win impressively at Uttoxeter on Sunday. We had bought him in the spring after he was 2nd in a Punchestown Bumper, and we have high hopes for him, so it was exciting to see him win nicely on his debut for us. I think we’ll look to step him up in class now and try our luck in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle.
Passing Well wins impressively on his debut for us.
The majority of our other runners have been 2nd really. Super Survivor was 2nd on his chasing debut, and looks a proper staying chaser to look forward to. I look forward to stepping Midnight Centurion up in trip after he was narrowly beaten on his chasing debut. Sea the Clouds was 2nd under Will Featherstone on unsuitably soft ground at Ludlow earlier this week, whilst Representing Bob was also runner up at Exeter last week, when running a career best. He might go back to Exeter for the Devon Marathon last this season.
Milldam was arguably unlucky when 3rd in a novice hurdle last week, but he might end up quite nicely handicapped now to have a go at a big handicap this winter. Hardy Du Seuil was also 3rd in a competitive handicap over 2m4, but I look forward to seeing him over 2m on deep ground. Legends Ryde picked up some more valuable ‘Black type’ when 3rd in a Listed mares chase at Market Rasen. Whilst, Jack Sprat wasn’t beaten far into 4th in a bumper at Exeter, and looks a promising youngster.
It's been a phenomenal month so far, and having jumped up to 10th in the trainers table, I hope our luck can continue into this weekend where Datsalrightgino runs in a competitive novice chase at the ‘Hennessey’ meeting.