Frodon has been a legend for us this season and took his score over fences to six wins in six months with another valuable success at Kempton on Saturday.
He is not particularly big but his jumping has been brilliant from day one and he was again fast and accurate on his way to a comfortable two length victory in the Pendil Novices’ Chase. While I’m not sure it is entirely correct when people claim that trainers are creatures of habit it is fair to say I always look to run a smart novice in this race named after the great chaser who won the King George V1 Chase twice and a host of other major races. Remarkably Frodon was my ninth winner of the Pendil in the last twelve years. He was full of himself at Kempton, every bit as enthusiastic as when he won at Newton Abbot in September, and has come out of the race so well I’m hopeful he can score again before he has a well deserved holiday this summer. He certainly hasn’t finished yet. Although I am not ruling out sending Frodon to Cheltenham I’d say it is more likely I’ll keep him back for something else, maybe at Aintree. There is no rush to make a decision.
I was very pleased to see Coastal Tiep go close on his handicap debut at Kempton. He looked green at times through the race, stayed on nicely at the finish and will have learned plenty. Coastal Tiep should be winning again back in novice company in the spring before making a cracking chaser next season for Ditcheat Thoroughbreds.
The stylish triumph of Master Blueyes was the latest ringing endorsement of the form of our outstanding juvenile Cliffs of Dover who is out for the season but should be back in action by Christmas and will be trained with the Champion Hurdle in mind. In October Cliffs of Dover gave Master Blueyes 8 lbs at Wetherby and beat him almost eighteen lengths.
Capitaine was a little bit free in front in the Dovecote Hurdle at Kempton before keeping on to finish fourth. He should improve for the run and while Cheltenham is not on his agenda he just might be out again quickly as part of our team heading to Kelso on Saturday. I’ve felt all along that we will not see the best of Capitaine until he goes over fences.
Irish Saint was disappointing in the BetBright Chase at Kempton where he travelled well enough through the race but didn’t get home. I’m not convinced that it was the trip that found him out and accept that so far this winter he hasn’t been as good as he was before his injury that caused him to miss a season.
In addition to having runners at Kelso this weekend our horses will be also be in action on a good card at Newbury on Saturday.
For the latest news on all our runners that day please turn to my Betfair column late on Friday afternoon.