It has been a wonderful start to November with six winners from our last twelve runners. The run of form began with Doc McCoy winning on his hurdling debut at Huntingdon in late October. He had been placed in three bumpers last season, but he has developed and strengthened into a lovely horse, and he looks the type who should continue to develop throughout the season.
Dual bumper winner, Roger Pol improved from his hurdling debut to win well at Fakenham on the first day of the month over 2m. He looks the type who will improve for the step up in trip, and he could step into handicap company off a nice mark.
I was very impressed with La Marquise on her racecourse debut, as she quickened clear in a bumper at Stratford on deep ground in the manner of an exciting young horse. I’d have thought we’ll step her into Listed company on her next start either at Cheltenham on New Years Day, or in a mares race at Market Rasen in mid-January.
Our Cheltenham Festival winner from last season, You Wear It Well stepped out of novice company in style, when wining the Listed mares hurdle under a penalty at Wetherby on Saturday. She travelled through the deep ground, jumping beautifully and she quickened clear really impressively. All roads will lead to the Grade 1 David Nicholson mares hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
I was thrilled to see the penny finally beginning to drop with Jack Sprat, who won well at Huntingdon on his second start in a handicap. He is still quite green and immature, but should develop into a proper staying chaser for the future, but there should be more to come from him over hurdles this season.
Colonel Harry was a very good novice hurdler last season, as he won twice and was placed in Grade 1 and Grade 2 company. However, I always thought that he would make up into a better chaser, and I was impressed with how he travelled and jumped on his chasing debut, and he won really well. We’ll look to step him up into Grade 1 company on his next start in the Henry VIII at Sandown in December.
Another horse who promised to be a better chaser is Passing Well. He again won twice over hurdles and was placed in a Grade 1 last season. However, he jumps really well, and was 2nd in a very competitive handicap at Ascot on Saturday. He will improve for stepping up in trip, and there should be a lovely race in him this season.
Whilst, Phone Home was also 2nd in a maiden at Huntingdon. She was placed a couple of times last season, but is maturing and developing into a nice mare and she shouldn’t be far away next time out.
The only slight disappointment in the last coupe of weeks, was the run of Ga Law in the Grade 2 West Yorkshire Hurdle. Having won the Paddy Power Gold Cup last season, he fell at the last when going to win the SkyBet chase at Doncaster. This season we had planned to have a pipe opener over hurdles and then go for the Coral Gold Cup (the old Hennessey) at Newbury. However, he didn’t run any sort of race at Wetherby, and looked like he got stuck in the mud there. We’ll have to see how he comes out of that race but we might just aim to get his confidence back before aiming too high.