We endured a couple of frustrating days at Cheltenham with several horses going very close without quite managing to win.
Deep, testing ground after all the rain that fell on the course on Thursday didn’t help although Brelan d’As handled it fine just beaten by Happy Diva in a tight finish to the BetVictor Gold Cup on Saturday. I felt there was a big race in him this season and he looked like winning going to the last fence before failing by a neck to catch Happy Diva. All being well he will return to Cheltenham in a month’s time for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.
Magic Saint ran well to be fifth in the BetVictor on his first start since a wind op and can improve a lot and hopefully be placed to advantage this winter.
On Sunday Politologue ran a great race to finish a close second to Defi Du Seuil in the Shloer Chase. He was giving the winner 3lbs and will be at levels in the Tingle Creek at Sandown where hopefully he will get a more solid gallop and will not have to make the running.
Getaway Trump looked in with a great chance in the the Arkle Trophy Trial until a bad mistake at the second last cost him dear. He wasn’t liking the ground and just couldn’t get going again afterwards and will not be heading to Sandown for the Henry VIII Chase unless conditions improve markedly and he can run on his favoured better ground .
At Fontwell Captain Cattistock was another of ours to be denied in a photo finish to the Southern National. While it is frustrating when things don’t go your way at least the horses continue to run well.
Our focus is now on next weekend with Frodon heading to Haydock for the Betfair Chase and Cyrname on course for his much anticipated clash with Altior in the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot.
Frodon has come on for his run at Aintree which turned into a farce when so many fences were ruled out, although he doesn’t want the ground too soft over a trip of almost three and a quarter miles.
Cyrname is in top form and enjoyed a racecourse gallop last week. Like everyone else in racing I can’t wait to see how he gets on against Altior who is stepping up in trip to two miles, five furlongs for the first time.
We will have plenty of others to run at Ascot with Diego Du Charmil and Capeland set to meet again in the £125,000 Gerard Bertrand Hurst Park Chase and Grand Sancy pencilled in for the Coral Hurdle.
For all the latest news on my runners on Saturday please turn to my Betfair column which goes live at 5pm on Friday.