The success of Pic D’Orhy in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday was the highlight of another rewarding day for Team Ditcheat on Saturday.
With Dynamite Dollars running a stormer in finishing just over three lengths behind Altior in the Game Spirit on his first outing for over a year and Secret Investor a solid second to Native River in the Denman Chase we had plenty to celebrate.
While I have always rated Pic D’Orhy as one for the future and his French form was top class, circumstances had prevented him getting it together in three runs for us so I didn’t arrive at Newbury with great expectations for him. He was still acclimatising ahead of the Triumph last March then fell at Auteuil in the autumn and took a while to get over it before running well at Ascot last time for two miles until tiring late on as he needed the race.
That was really like a first run of the season for Pic D’Orhy over a trip too far for him. I’d worked him hard since Ascot, he had not missed a day and he was ready to win. He certainly travelled better through the race at Newbury and saw it out well under a big weight. As of yet there are no future plans for him. One thing is for sure, Pic D’Orhy is going to make the most awesome chaser next season. That is why we bought him and he could be one of the best we’ve had for a long time. I was even tempted to start him over fences this season so fair play to his owner Johnny de la Hey who preferred to keep him over hurdles which was obviously the right choice.
There should be a nice race, too, in Tamaroc Du Mathan who finished a close fifth behind Pic D’Orhy.
Earlier Dynamite Dollars booked his ticket for Cheltenham with a great run in the Game Spirit. He led for much of the race, jumping boldly, and was only collared after the final fence as lack of fitness told.
The media quite rightly concentrated on Altior afterwards but Dynamite Dollars was beaten little more than three lengths on his first run out of novice company and by the champion chaser and I’m in no doubt that he will come on bundles for the run after such a long layoff. He is young, talented, improving fast and could be right in the mix for the Queen Mother Champion Chase with odds of 33-1 looking decidedly generous.
Secret Investor was another to shine at Newbury where he stayed on strongly in finishing two and three quarter lengths behind the all the way winner Native River who is rated 19 lbs higher. As I’m not sure Cheltenham suits him I might keep him for the Betway Bowl at Aintree.
This coming weekend is an important one for our team as we will have plenty of runners at Ascot, Wincanton and Haydock.
Cyrname worked nicely at Wincanton last week and is firmly on course to try for the double in the Betfair Ascot Chase. Frodon also has an entry in the race but the plan is to run just Cyrname and they will not be taking each other on.
Others down for Ascot include Black Corton in the staying handicap Chase and Danny Whizzbang in the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase.
Diego Du Charmil and Quel Destin will be entered in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton where Worthy Farm bids to follow up in the staying handicap chase and Solo is an interesting runner in the National Hunt Novices’ hurdle.
The squad for Haydock includes Truckers Lodge in the Grand National trial plus Sir Psycho in the Victor Ludorum, unless Exeter is rearranged.
For the latest news on all my runners on Saturday please check out my Betfair column which goes live at 5 pm on Friday.