Something of a frustrating weekend for Team Ditcheat with the loss of Ascot and Taunton to frost.
The only jumps action was at Haydock where Politologue ran a blinder in going down narrowly to the smart novice Waiting Patiently in the Grade 2 Novice Chase. Politologue again jumped flawlessly and remains a horse of some potential considering he was giving 3 lbs to the winner and the third horse, rated 144, was twenty lengths behind him. While it was encouraging to see Politologue stay on stoutly to the line we will keep him to two and a half miles for the time being.
I’m pleased to report that Irving is fine after his fall in the Champion Hurdle Trial. He’ll be given entries in similar trials in the weeks ahead.
Virak did well to finish fourth in the Peter Marsh Chase. He ran his usual honest race but is a victim of his own consistency and needs to be dropped at least 7lbs from his current mark of 152.
Yesterday we entertained the ever growing band of owners who have joined Ditcheat Thoroughbreds over the past few months. Ian Fogg’s decision to create the upmarket jumps syndicate team has paid off with nine winners already from only 23 runners and more enthusiasts are signing up every week. We paraded nine of their ten horses at my home Highbridge with Clo Sacre staying in his box as he recovers from a recent wind op. Then we all headed off to our pub the Manor Inn at Ditcheat for a jolly lunch.
After a couple of quiet weeks on the track we could be busy on Saturday with runners at both Cheltenham and Doncaster. Those likely to head to Cheltenham include Saphir Du Rheu, Old Guard and Rocky Creek who may have his first start in a cross country race. Although he is non too consistent these days Rocky jumps for fun and could be an interesting contender if he takes to the unique contours of the course. More Buck’s, denied a run at Ascot on Saturday, is also pencilled in for Cheltenham.
Caid Du Berlais is being aimed at the Skybet Handicap Chase at Doncaster and if the ground stays dry this week then Marracudja is likely to run in the Grade 2 Lightning Novices’ Chase there while Coillte Lass, one of the stars owned by Ditcheat Thoroughbreds, goes for the Grade 2 Doncaster Mares’ Hurdle over two and a half miles.
For up to the minute news on our runners next weekend please turn to my Betfair column late on Friday afternoon.