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Category Archives: Latest News

February 12, 2019

It is great to hear that the show is back on the road tomorrow after a frustrating week for everyone in racing.

The bonus is that the Betfair Hurdle and Denman Chase lost last Saturday at Newbury have now been added to the card at Ascot on Saturday. That is brilliant news.

Team Ditcheat has been all dressed up with nowhere to go over the past week while the BHA conducted tests for equine flu in well over 150 stables around the country. Our horses were all clear as I expected as we gave them their annual winter flu jabs early in January. It is exciting to be back in business again, planning ahead once more though sorting out jockeys for my runners at Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton on Saturday will not be easy.
Harry Cobden is definitely at Ascot for several of ours including Cyrname and Clan Des Obeaux, while Sam Twiston-Davies is back on Politologue in the Betfair Ascot Chase.

Today I am off to the unveiling of the Grand National weights in Liverpool before heading to Old Trafford for Manchester United’s match against Paris St-Germain. Of my three National entries Warrior’s Tale is more likely to go for the Topham, Give Me A Copper could be interesting depending how he gets on in the Ultima Chase at Cheltenham and we have yet to make a decision on Black Corton.

One who will not be running again this season is Dynamite Dollars who has had a minor setback. It is a big blow as we had high hopes of him in the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham. Hopefully he will be back better than ever next season.

We expect to have plenty of runners with chances on Saturday so please be sure to turn to my Betfair column which goes live late on Friday afternoon.

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February 4, 2019

The thumping success of Dolos at Sandown on Saturday came as a timely tonic at the end of a challenging week after a mixture of frost and snow played havoc with our running plans.

Several meetings were lost including Wincanton where we had a hatful of chances and the two day card at Musselburgh which we were again targeting.

Team Ditcheat then worked overtime clearing the gallops and salting the roads around the village when the blizzard arrived late on Thursday.
I owe them all a huge thanks for making sure that we were able to canter all the horses from both yards on Friday morning despite the worst of the weather.

Things hadn’t gone the way of Dolos this season so far but he was very good on Saturday at a track which plays to his strengths as he came home clear of Gino Trail. He needs a fast run race, enjoys Sandown and two miles on soft ground is perfect for him. Dolos will definitely not be going to Cheltenham but as he didn’t have a hard race he might turn out again quickly at Newbury on Saturday in the Game Spirit Chase and then I’ll keep him fresh for the Celebration Chase at Sandown at the end of the season.

Copain De Classe wants much faster going while Le Prezien didn’t jump well out of the soft ground.

I was thrilled to see Give Me A Copper run a cracker to be fourth in the staying Chase after such a long lay off. He was giving plenty of weight to the first three, travelled strongly until tiring going to two out and his jumping was a joy to watch as he was foot perfect throughout. It was a brilliant effort on his third start over fences when you consider I had not been hard on him at home and he hadn’t been away for a gallop. I am thinking of running Give Me A Copper next in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham before a crack at the Grand National which is a race I’ve always felt would be ideal for him. He’s nine now and though you could question his lack of experience over fences you couldn’t name any horse who jumped round Sandown better than him on Saturday. Sometimes it can be an advantage not having too much experience going to Aintree because they are not set in their ways.

Casko d’Airy will probably go back Novice hurdling after he finished fifth in the Heroes Handicap Hurdle. He ran into a bit of trouble and we will ride him handier next time.

With a positive weather forecast we have plenty to run this week, particularly at the weekend at Newbury where Clan Des Obeaux goes for the Denman Chase, Getaway Trump and Mont Des Avaloirs are both on course for the Betfair Hurdle and Ask For Glory and McFabulous take their chance in the bumper. In addition Quel Destin goes for the Listed Hurdle at Exeter on Sunday.

For the latest news on my weekend runners please turn to my Betfair column which goes live late on Friday afternoon.

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January 28, 2019

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.

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