We enjoyed another fruitful weekend with three more winners following the cosy success of Divin Bere at Bath on Wednesday.
It was good to see him bounce back to form after an operation in April to sort out his breathing. He has been ready to run for a few weeks and enjoys drier ground so we have the option of going Novice chasing or giving him another spin on the flat.
I was thrilled with the way Dynamite Dollars jumped and travelled at Market Rasen on Saturday at his first attempt over fences on his way to a decisive defeat of Highway One On One. I’ve always felt he would make a useful chaser. He was very good on Saturday and has improvement in him. Although we know he stays further I might look at the two mile novice chase for him at Cheltenham on Sunday, November 18.
Le Prezien ran well to finish second in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las, keeping on strongly on the flat. It was a solid performance from a horse who would prefer more cut in the ground. He could maybe run over hurdles again at two and a half miles or switch back to fences.
Quel Destin then gave us the perfect start to a busy day at Kempton on Sunday with a fluent front running display in the juvenile hurdle. It was our third successive triumph in the race following on from Risk and Roll last year and Cliffs of Dover in 2016. Quel Destin again jumped slickly as he had done at Chepstow a week earlier and could appear next in the Wensleydale Hurdle at Wetherby on November 2.
I was chuffed to see Copain de Classe complete a double for the yard at Kempton in the two and a quarter mile handicap chase. He was given a fine, patient ride by Harry Cobden before moving up stylishly to challenge the leader Casablanca Mix in the straight. Jumping is the name of the game and while Casablanca Mix blundered at the final fence Copain de Classe was foot perfect and quickly pulled clear on the flat.
He was struggling with an entrapped epliglottis last season but surgery in the summer seems to have sorted that out and hopefully we can kick on with him now. He will have an entry in the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November though I could be tempted to run him in a two and a half mile handicap at Wetherby on November 2nd under a 6 lb penalty before he is re-assessed.
Old Guard found the concession of 13 lbs to the smart mare Verdana Blue beyond him in the Matchbook Hurdle which he won last year. But he kept on well in the closing stages to be a clear second and is another of ours pencilled in for Wetherby in the bet365 Hurdle over three miles. Both he and San Benedeto, who finished unplaced, will come on for the outing.
Grand Sancy wasn’t really suited by the steady pace in the Listed novice hurdle at a Kempton before keeping on to finish second to Itchy Feet. He will have a little break now after two races in eight days and will be out again in a month or so.
The dry spell is making it difficult to make plans for many of our team who would prefer softer conditions than they will find at many courses at the moment. We will have a few entries at Cheltenham and Wincanton at the end of the week while Frodon is set to take his chance in the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase on Sunday.
For all the latest news on my weekend runners please be sure to read my Betfair column which goes live at 5pm on Friday and Saturday.