We have an interesting team of hunter chasers this season including Unioniste who will take his chance ridden by his enthusiastic owner David Maxwell at Taunton on Tuesday
He is one one of three hunter chasers David has with us this season, the others being Vivaldi Collonges and Port Melon. Of our other hunter chasers the classy Wonderful Charm is set to run at Musselburgh later this month partnered by Sam Waley-Cohen in the race he won last year.
Virak, who has had his problems, and yesterday’s Larkhill winner Caid Du Berlais are others to note while the ever popular Pacha Du Polder is on course to defend his crown in the Foxhunters’ at Cheltenham which he won a year ago under an inspired ride by Bryony Frost.
With the rest of our team having now had their mid winter flu vaccinations we will have only a handful of runners over the next fortnight. It is much the same every January, the quietest couple of weeks of the season for Team Ditcheat and given how testing the ground is everywhere at the moment our horses are probably better off having an easy time of it at home after their jabs.
Two who might run in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday are Topofthegame and Irving. Topofthegame banged his knee when he fell in a novice chase at Newbury so I’ve decided to switch him back to hurdles for the rest of the season. Then he can go chasing again in the autumn. He is a big, green, inexperienced horse and the extra time over hurdles will not be lost on him.
Art Mauresque could also head to Kempton for the two and a half mile Listed Chase while Ptit Zig is likely to run in the marathon Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick.
Looking back to Saturday’s Coral Welsh National I thought that Silsol ran a cracker to finish fifth on his first start over fences for a while. There is a nice race in him somewhere this spring over a trip. Vicente is fine after blundering and unseating Sam Twiston-Davies. He just doesn’t jump as well as he can out of deep ground but will be a big player once again in the spring when the ground dries up.
At Sandown the highly promising Mont Des Avaloirs ran with great credit in finishing third in the Tolworth Hurdle. He had of touch of sore shins on Sunday morning which probably explains why he didn’t jump as well as he can. I’m sure he will make an exciting chaser next season.
For all the latest news on my runners on Saturday please be sure to read my Betfair column which goes live early on Friday evening.