It has been one roller coaster of a week for everyone, but we’ve had a couple more winners, some disappointments and a decent runner at the festival.
I was chuffed to see both Future Gilded and Dino Mite win earlier this week. We took Future Gilded up to Market Rasen for the better ground, only to find it rained all day and went soft, but our lad pulled out all the stops and won a competitive handicap chase on his 4th ever racecourse start. He jumped well, and looks to be a horse with a future over a trip on better ground – he might be one for the Topham next season.
Future Gilded jumps his way into the winners enclosure at Market Rasen
Meanwhile Dino Mite followed suit at Taunton on Monday where she won the juvenile fillies race with an improved performance. She found the heavy ground at Fontwell beyond her on her previous start, and appreciated this right handed track too – there should be more to come from her, and we’ll aim to head back to Taunton in 10 days time.
Dino Mite in full stretch prior to winning at Taunton
So we went into this years Cheltenham Festival on a high – the horses were running well, and I was hoping to follow on from last years success. We sent one horse and that was Souriyan and he was running in the Fred Winter off a mark of 133. He ended up finishing 11th, but was only beaten 10 lengths, and ran a career best (on RPR'S it was 4lbs better than his Exeter demolition earlier this year). Michael Nolan rode a great race and had the perfect start, had him in the right place at the right time. He was caught a bit flat footed coming down the hill, but had a good position at the third last where he just stumbled on landing and lost a bit of valuable momentum. He then rallied all the way up the hill to be beaten only 10 lengths. He'll be some horse when we step him up in trip, and I am quite sure he'll be a smashing chaser too. We have lots to look forward to with him. I think that we will give him a bit of time to get over that run and then we'll look to find a 2m4 novice hurdle where he'll carry a penalty and we'll endeavour to end the season with another win under his belt.
It was slightly frustrating that Val de Law didn’t get his head in front at Leicester earlier this month following his last fence fall at Exeter when looking likely to beat subsequent RSA runner-up, Southfield Theatre. However, having shot clear and looking impressive our lad then idled close home and was nabbed close home by a previous Graded hurdle winner called Cash and Go, who followed up at Towcester this week by 35 lengths! I think we’ll now aim Val de Law at a big novice chase at Aintree – if we win, we’ll be over the moon, and if we’re beaten then at least we know we have a serious horse to go novice chasing with next season!
Monbeg Theatre had no luck whatsoever in running at Sandown last weekend in the EBF Final – he was baulked at the start, forced 10 wide around the first bend, jumped into a flapping hurdle at the last with a circuit to go, and then was carried over to the pond fence when trying to mount a challenge in the straight…. We’ll put a line through that run, and aim for the Sefton Novices at Aintree with him now.
Monbeg Theatre looks amazing going into the EBF but had no luck in running
Meanwhile, Kassis ran well to be 3rd at Plumpton – she was only beaten a length and a mistake at the last probably cost her. She’ll make up into a lovely chaser for next season. While at Huntingdon, Borguy ran another solid race to be 2nd – he’ll surely be finding an opening before long. Unfortunately Alanjou couldn’t add to his 2 wins this season at Fakenham on Friday – he found everything happening too fast on good ground, but he’ll have his chance again.
The worst part of the whole week however, was the sadness of losing poor Star Sovereign who broke her leg at Taunton on her racecourse debut. She was a lovely bred filly, being Joanne One’s sister, and she was showing us at home that she looked to have a bright future – so sad for all concerned.