Another stellar week of results moved our score for the season on to 97.
Given that there are only a handful of meetings over the next few days we might struggle to reach a century before Christmas. But given a bit of luck we should get there by the end of the year which has been the target for some time. While I don’t keep records I’m sure we have never had so many winners before at this stage of the season. Last year, for instance, we didn’t reach a total of 70 winners until February 11. While things have gone really well from the start late in April I am pleasantly surprised we have had so many winners given that this was always going to be a transitional season.
We knew we were short of stars to run in Grade 1 races as we have several exposed types who are not going to improve. So we were looking to the next generation to come through and show that they can be the mainstays of the team in future years. The key thing is that they remain as healthy and well as they are at the moment. We have already run a number of lovely young horses, really exciting prospects such as Clan Des Obeaux, Politologue and Capitaine who we will mind and look after this season as they can only improve with time and experience. We also have a smart crop of bumper horses who are only just now starting over hurdles and we have loads more to run in the next couple of months.
A double at Wincanton on Tuesday was the prelude to eight winners in four days. Although Connetable had luck on his side the fences are there to be jumped and he was just making ground when the leaders departed early in the straight. Movewiththetimes showed he is progressing well with another success and is definitely one for the future.
Tagrita, Le Prezien and Give Me A Copper then kept up the momentum by providing Team Ditcheat with a treble at Exeter on Thursday. Le Prezien has taken really well to fences while Give Me A Copper won with plenty in hand despite showing signs of inexperience on his first attempt over hurdles.
I haven’t trained many horses as big as Topofthegame who kick-started our treble at Ascot on Friday. He was so raw and green he didn’t really know what to do when he landed in front over the last flight but he still found enough to see off the challenge of the runner up.
Sam Twiston-Davies was raving about Topofthegame afterwards and I can see why because he has bag of potential and can only get better with practise. I can’t wait to see him jumping fences.
I was thrilled by the way Capitaine dominated a competitive field in the Grade 2 novice hurdle. He was bought to be a two mile chaser and if things go his way as we hope he could be lining up in the Arkle Chase at the 2018 Festival.
Politologue then capped a brilliant day with an awesome display of jumping from the front in the Grade 2 novice chase.
While there was talk afterwards of him going for the RSA, I am in no hurry to step him up to three miles this season. He jumps for fun and has plenty of pace so we will keep him to shorter distances for the moment although I am already looking ahead to the time when he could possibly be one for the King George V1 Chase.
Three of our older horses Silviniaco Conti, Rocky Creek and Just A Par will enjoy a change of routine today (Mon) when they have a day’s hunting with the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Hounds who meet in the village. Rocky has been out with them regularly this winter and showed the benefits when he returned to form at Sandown. I’m not sure at this stage if Conti runs in the King George V1 Chase on Boxing Day.
For the news on all my holiday runners please turn to my Betfair column at the weekend.