We enjoyed a rewarding afternoon at Kempton on Saturday with Modus becoming our third winner of the Lanzarote Hurdle at in the last ten years following Nycteos in 2008 and Saphir Du Rheu in 2014.
I was pretty sure Modus would improve for the step up in trip and although the ground was softer than ideal for him it was a lot better than the going at Cheltenham when I pulled him out of his race on New Year’s Day.
Modus was a bit too keen for his own good when he joined us but he is gradually learning to relax and won with something to spare with the help of a patient ride by Barry Geraghty. While the Coral Cup at Cheltenham looks a suitable target for Modus I’m afraid the handicapper is bound to have his say once he assesses the result at Kempton. Long term I can’t wait to see Modus switching to fences next season. He should be a really exciting chaser.
While on the subject of the Lanzarote I thought Old Guard ran really well to finish fourth under top weight.
Vibrato Valtat showed the benefit of a recent little wind op by running much better than of late when runner up to Vaniteux in the Listed Chase but Vivaldi Collonges found conditions much too testing under top weight at Warwick in the Betfred Classic Chase.
We will bring him back for a spring campaign on better ground.
We had only a handful of runners last week but could be busier over the next six days with entries at Wincanton and Newbury before Saturday racing at Ascot, Haydock and Taunton. Among those who could head to Ascot are Dolos & More Buck’s.
Mr Mix and Adrien Du Pont will be entered in the Class 1 handicap hurdle and Dodging Bullets could well run in the Sodexo Clarence House Chase. I am also thinking of sending Irving to Haydock for the Champion Hurdle Trial.
For the latest news on my running plans please be sure to turn to my Betfair column late on Friday afternoon.