With almost all of our horses on the easy list after their winter flu jabs the few that we have run in the past twelve days have been in sparkling form.
Mick Pastor won in style at Ludlow on January 8, he settled much better on his second start for us and looks a decent prospect.
Saint Xavier then scored easily over hurdles at Kempton on the Saturday before Frodon completed a fine afternoon for the yard with a typically spirited victory from the front in the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase.
I was thrilled to see Frodon bounce back after a couple of runs at Aintree and Haydock when things didn’t go his way. We rode him wrong at Haydock and discovered afterwards that he was suffering from grade four stomach ulcers which responded well to treatment. I was confident of a much better showing at Kempton from Frodon dropping back to two and a half miles given that he is rated 7lbs higher than the favourite Top Notch. Bryony Frost was positive from the off, the horse was clearly enjoying himself and they came home a length and a quarter clear of Keepers Hill.
I’m sure there is plenty of improvement to come from Frodon who is better going left handed and he will head again to Cheltenham where he will have entries in the Ryanair Chase and the Gold Cup.
Saint Xavier, meanwhile, is on course for the Randox Health Grand National in which he should give his enthusiastic owner rider David Maxwell a great spin.
A week later it was the turn of Yala Enki to shine in the valuable Portman Cup Chase over three and a half miles at Taunton. Top marks to the course executive for putting on a £50,000 prize on their biggest day of the year.
The race conditions were ideal for Yala Enki who was the top rated of the six runners, he jumps well, relishes heavy ground, stays all day and is a relentless galloper. Bryony had him up there the whole way and they saw off all challengers before landing a commanding triumph by five and a half lengths from Rock The Kasbah. Marathon trips are just the ticket for Yala Enki who will be entered in the Grand National.
We will be fairly quiet again this week. Then it will be a case of cracking on full tilt for the last three months of the season from February 1st.
Please remember to check on the latest news on my weekend runners by turning to my Betfair column which goes live at five on Friday afternoon.