It was lovely to see Super Survivor winning in style on Welsh Grand National Day at Chepstow earlier this week on just his fifth racecourse appearance. He jumped well, and travelled through the soft ground nicely, before quickening up and outing the race to bed in the style of a rapidly improving young horse. He won two of his three novice hurdles last season, but we always thought he could develop into a lovely staying chaser, and he is an exciting young novice for the rest of the season.
Super Survivor wins the staying novice chase on Welsh National day.
Spitfire Girl agonisingly missed out on winning before the freeze up, when she went down by a short head on her handicap debut. She travelled well in behind a strong pace, she jumped well, Gavin got a lovely run up the inside, she did make a small error at the 3rd last flight, but she rallied well to ping the last and go a head up on the short run to the line, and she has just been beaten in the shadows of the post with 12 lengths back to the 3rd horse. Regrettably the handicapper walloped her with a 6lbs rise, but we didn’t manage to get her back onto the track before that rise set in as all the racing was abandoned due to the frost!
Spitfire Girl is beaten a short head on her handicap debut.
Git Maker was also narrowly denied victory when beaten only ½ a length at Kelso. He has done very little wrong, and were beaten by a horse carrying 6lbs less than us. The Git jumped great all the way until he just missed the 4th last fence, which probably cost us the win as it meant he couldn’t get a breather in before the long slog for home. However, he has shown true tenacity to keep galloping, and shows he definitely stays 3m well.
Git Maker is narrowly beaten at Kelso.
Soldier of Destiny has also filled the runners up spot this month, when back over hurdles. He took a nasty fall when in with a chance at Wetherby in November, and so we gave him a confidence boosting run back over hurdles at Southwell. He jumped a bit too big and well over these hurdles, so we’ll send him back chasing again after we’ve just tinkered with his wind again.
I was thrilled with Janworth’s racecourse debut when she came 3rd for the Jamie Snowden Racing Club at Southwell. She was impeccably behaved throughout the day, she travelled through the race well on the front end, with her ears pricked and quickened up really impressively off the turn for home. She just couldn’t sustain that pace inside the final furlong, and got a bit tired, but came home a very promising 3rd beaten only 6 lengths. Both the front two had racecourse experience, and that ultimately told.
Janworth is a fine 3rd on her racecourse debut for the Jamie Snowden Racing Club and breeder, Andy Ward.
I thought Legends Ryde ran a career best over fences when 3rd under top weight at Cheltenham this month. Although she looked flat out most of the way (over this inadequate trip of 2m4), she jumped well, and she stayed on strongly up the hill. Without the mistake at the 2nd last, I think she might have had a chance, but 3rd was a good result, especially as she was giving the winner 2 stone. I think she’ll now head to the North Yorkshire Grand National, and then onto the Eider Chase, before we perhaps have a tilt at the Scottish National!
Datsalrightgino followed up an authoritative novice chasing win at Chepstow over 2m, with a decent 3rd at the Hennessey meeting, but after finishing 4th over 2m again this week at Doncaster, it looks as though he is now ready to step up to 2m4, and we might look at a valuable novice handicap on Cheltenham Trials day.
Having won a bumper at the back end of last season, Park This One followed up winning on his hurdling debut at the start of this season. We stepped him up into a Grade 2 Novice hurdle at Sandown earlier this month, and he ran a belter to be 4th. The race perhaps wasn’t run to suit either, so we can upgrade the run too. He might be one we try to qualify for the EBF final at Sandown in March.
Obsessedwithyou bolted up on her racecourse debut in one of the new NH Development Hurdle races, and we stepped her up into a Listed race at Aintree at the start of the month. Although it was her second run, it was her first race (as she strolled around on debut to win as she liked), so it was a huge culture shock for her, but she took it all in her stride and was a very creditable 4th. Unfortunately, she just missed out on some ‘Black Type’ but she is a smart filly, and she’ll have another opportunity at the end of the season, when we aim her for a Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham. She can surely win under a penalty in the meantime.
Having won a valuable race on his seasonal return, we gave Kiltealy Briggs plenty of time to recover, and he followed up with a gutsy effort to be 4th in a Class 2 handicap off top weight at Aintree earlier this month. There is a nice race at Wincanton we might aim him for in early January.
I was delighted to get Starevitch back onto the track after having had 638 days off. He ran well to be 5th in a novice hurdle, and he should certainly have a future over fences. Meanwhile, dual winner Ebonello found conceding a penalty tough, but she’ll appreciate going up in trip in due course, and is hopefully on target for the Grade 2 Mares Final at Newbury in March.
Having had a lot of fun and success with Pacify for Her Majesty The Queen Consort, I am delighted that The Royal Stud has sent us a further three unraced youngsters. A Kayf Tara filly, and two geldings by Clovis de Berlais and Schiaparelli. I look forward to seeing them start out in bumpers either this spring, or in the autumn. It is an incredible honour and privilege to train for The Royal Family, and it really is a huge boost for the whole team. Let’s hope we can have some luck with the horses now….
It has been a quieter month on the runners front, but the big freeze pretty much stopped racing for almost two weeks, so we took the opportunity to give the majority of the string their flu jabs, which is now mandatory every 6 months. This new ruling means the horses need to be vaccinated every 5 months really, and so we’ll be doing it almost three times a year! Anyhow, I am pleased that the horses all remain in good form as we head into the New Year.