Yesterday both Ixora and Graduation Night did their last pieces of fast work before the Cheltenham festival next week. We had a crowd of owners here to watch them go through their paces, and I am very happy with how they both are. Ixora worked with Caminero and Graduation Night worked with Knighton Combe, and both pairs were very well matched.
Lettie casts a watchful eye over Ixora after her canter this morning.
It was slightly frustrating to see so many confirm for both the Coral Cup and the Martin Pipe 'boy's race, which means that our hand has been slightly forced, and we will run Ixora in the David Nicholson Mares race on the opening day of the festival. That said, I am very happy with Ixora, and she should have a decent chance of a place - it will be very hard to beat Quevega, but I do think 25-1 is a massive price for our mare. Tom O'Brien will ride her, and having won 4 of her 7 starts for us, culminating in a win at Cheltenham in the autumn, I cannot wait to run her. It will be our first runner at the festival, I hope dreams do come true......!
Graduation Night needs 3 to come out of the National Hunt 4 mile Novice chase to get a run, but I would be disappointed if that didn't happen, and Josh Guerriero will ride him. Josh would have been a professional if it wasn't for weight issues, and I'd like to think Graduation Night will jump and stay well, so he should have a squeak as well. It is lovely to go to the festival with chances, and we just need a bit of luck now.....