It was great to reach a century of winners for the season at the end of a brilliant afternoon for the team at Fontwell on Sunday.
We started the day on a total of 96 winners and reached the century mark as Unioniste became our fourth winner on the card.
With Copain De Classe, The Last But One and Old Guard all successful, too, it was really pleasing to end the afternoon back on top of the trainers’ table once more with around £1,850,000 in prize money.
I said a couple of weeks ago that once the ground started to dry up we would be flat out with around 120 horses fit and ready to go over the next two and a half months. With nine winners over the past three days Team Ditcheat could hardly in better form. The promising Master Tommytucker was the first to strike on Friday on his racecourse debut at Exeter. We then enjoyed a four-timer on Saturday followed by another four winners yesterday.
Cyrname again looked very smart as he became my tenth winner of the Pendil Chase at Kempton. He will definitely not be going to Cheltenham, doesn’t want the ground too quick and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he didn’t run again this season.
It is fair to say that Favorito Buck’s has had me scratching my head over the past two years so it was a relief to see him finally get it all together over fences at Kempton. His jumping was sound and he found more when pressed on the run in so hopefully he can go on from here.
On his debut for us the hugely promising Danny Kirwan took the bumper at Kempton in tremendous style. He joined us with a big reputation after winning his only Point-to-Point in Ireland and is one we will mind for the future so he will definitely not be going to Cheltenham this month. If he runs again this season, which is far from certain, it will be in the bumper at Aintree.
Art Mauresque ran a cracker to be fourth in the valuable Betdaq Handicap Chase at Kempton where he didn’t quite get home. He now heads to Aintree for the John Hughes Topham.
Our fourth winner on Saturday came at Chepstow from Moabit who is shaping up as a decent dual purpose horse.
On Sunday I was thrilled with the victory of Old Guard in the Grade 2 National Spirit Hurdle. He has been so consistent all season and stayed on strongly on the run-in at Fontwell ahead of the 2016 winner Lil Rockefeller. I am still kicking myself for running Old Guard on desperately heavy ground last time at Cheltenham which he hated. Like so many of mine he thrives on drier spring ground. Old Guard has been a brilliant horse for his owners and now heads for the Stayers Hurdle at the Festival where he will again be ridden by Harry Cobden as Sam Twiston-Davies is committed to The New One.
If the weather forecasters are right the the chances of racing are slim for much of this week which is a shame with our horses in such sparkling form. But if it does warm up in time for the weekend we will have plenty to run at Newbury and Doncaster.
For all the up to date news of my runners on Saturday please turn to my Betfair column early on Friday evening.