Frodon and Briony Frost stole the headlines at the weekend with another heartwarming victory over the New Course at Cheltenham.
The difference this time was that he was proving his stamina over almost three miles and a quarter which was more than enough to book his place in the Gold Cup unless the ground turns bottomless in March. Frodon is a marvel, jumps superbly, always seems to find more when pressed and has now earned in excess of £500,000. I’m sure there is still improvement to come because you never want your horses at their best in January and he has had an easy time by his standards after his winter flu jab. He certainly hasn’t had the hard graft we gave him in the first half of the season and he looked a shade on the burly side in the paddock at Cheltenham which made me nervous ahead of such an important trial as Elegant Escape was fit to run for his life. I know we can have Frodon in better shape once we start drilling him during the build up to the Festival.
As usual he was idling in front after the last fence on Saturday but he found more when pressed by Elegant Escape and I’m surprised people were so negative after the race about his chances in the Gold Cup. As I told Matt Chapman on Sunday we should be celebrating this horse who keeps winning, is a fabulous jumper, is on a roll and has a jockey who believes in him and is a big part of the story.
It is exciting to be taking both Frodon and Clan Des Obeaux to the Gold Cup with realistic chances of being in the shake up. They are young and progressive while several of the leading contenders are well exposed.
Dynamite Dollars is also right on course for the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham after his latest success in the Grade 2 Novice Chase at Doncaster on Saturday. He just had a nice pop round before quickening up after the last. He is getting better with racing, needs plenty of graft and will have entries in a fortnight in the Game Spirit at Newbury and the Kingmaker at Warwick.
Truckers Lodge did well to finish second in the Grade 2 Novice Hurdle at Doncaster on quick ground which did not play to his strengths. He will be a different proposition back on soft ground.
We will be busy this week with plenty of entries at Wincanton on Thursday, and a few runners at Chepstow on Friday. We will also be sending a team to Musselburgh’s two day meeting at the weekend along with some runners at Sandown on Saturday. One who won’t be running this weekend at Sandown is Topofthegame as I’ve decided to keep him fresh and take him straight to Cheltenham for the RSA Chase.
For the up to the minute news on my weekend plans please turn to my Betfair column which goes live late on Friday.