I am delighted that our run of seconds earlier in October turned into a run of winners over the last fortnight. Kapgarde King started the run when he turned in a lovely performance to win on his handicap chase debut at Wincanton. He had always been a horse we liked, but he thought he could run before he could walk, and has taken a lot of educating. However, he was always going to come into his own when sent chasing and over a trip and there should be more to come from this chap now.
Kapgarde King walking back into the winners enclosure.
Fact of the Matter has really thrived this autumn since we gave him a wind operation over the summer, and he won again last week at Exeter. The step up in trip certainly brought about some more improvement and he looks a chaser firmly on an upward curve.
Fact of the Matter looks a chaser to follow.
Having won a bumper last season, I have been looking forward to seeing Orchard Park progress over timber. He is still a big baby but he improved on his hurdling debut where he was 3rd to finish a creditable 2nd to a highly regarded horse down at Exeter as well. He should keep improving.
The winning run continued as Brave Encounter (aka Big Dave) jumped and ground his rivals into submission over 3m2 at Newton Abbot under a polished ride from Jonathan Moore. Big Dave has now won his last two starts and I’d say there is more improvement in him once the ground turns as well.
Brave Encounter puts in another fine leap on his way to another victory.
With the horses in such tremendous form, we thought we’d run Three Ways again after his fantastic run in the Persian War. We stepped him up in trip in the class 3 novice at Cheltenham last weekend. He jumped the last upsides and looked as though he’d play his hand in the finish but he didn’t quite get up the hill as his stamina gave away. We’ll freshen him up and plot a route through to the Festival with him now.
A horse who has been a bit of a handful is Double Treasure as he was like Mike Tyson on speed last season, and although still mad keen, I was pleased with his run at Wincanton last Sunday where he was 2nd. We should be able to build on this.
We have been sent a few new horses over the last couple of weeks and I was delighted to welcome Carningli to the yard. He has won two bumpers and two novice hurdles and was classy enough to run in the Albert Bartlett Grade 1 novice hurdle at the Festival in 2015. He was placed in his first and only novice chase last season but then sustained an injury which will keep him off the track until Christmas. He looks to be a smart performer and one to look forward to this season in the novice chase ranks.
Our latest recruit to the yard is a strikingly good looking 3-year-old gelding called Lord Topper. He is by the Derby winner, Sir Percy, and is out of a Hurricane Run mare. The dam was a dual winner on the flat over 1m2, and is the half-sister to a Group 2 winner, Fanunalter, and a listed winner, Famusa. Lord Topper has had three runs on the flat as a 3-year-old, and won on his final start over 1m5. The Racing Post analysis of the race suggested “Lord Topper improved to finish third on his second start over a more suitable 1m3f at Kempton this month and found more again here to narrowly get off the mark over an extended 1m5f despite an interrupted passage in the middle of the straight. He should become a decent staying handicapper.” He has a clean vet certificate and came highly recommended. He looks an exciting juvenile hurdling prospect.
Lord Topper at Folly House