I was delighted to see Malaya bring up our fiftieth winner of the season at Wetherby on Friday in the Wensleydale Hurdle.
She is a smart juvenile, and had improved for her debut in this country at Chepstow behind Gumball, another decent French recruit, where she was a bit keen and carried two penalties. I do think a lot of her but don’t have any firm plans for the moment.
Sametegal ran a cracker at Wetherby on his return from a break of more than six hundred days. He might head to Aintree next month for the Grand Sefton.
Saturday turned out to be a frustrating day at Ascot where rain on watered ground wasn’t ideal for several of ours that want good going.
Most of them still ran well with Marracudja, who finished third in the Byrne Group Chase, hinting that he is now ready for a step up in trip and the highly progressive Braqueur d’Or keeping on well to be third in the £100,000 Sodexo Gold Cup after being slightly out of his ground at half-way. He has done nothing but improve since joining us in the spring and will have a well earned break sooner rather than later though he does have an entry in the Ladbroke Gold Cup, formerly the Hennessy.
Copain De Classe was another to run well at Ascot without winning. Chasing was always going to be his game and he looked a natural over the fences on Saturday and seemed set to win before just failing to last home over two miles, three furlongs. Although it is just possible he needed the run I’m inclined to think that he wants to go back to two miles. He should win plenty of races.
This weekend we will have plenty of entries at Aintree and my local track Wincanton where Present Man is on course for a crack at the Badger Ales Chase provided the ground doesn’t go soft.
For all the latest news on my runners at the weekend please turn to my Betfair column early on Friday evening.