Quel Destin was the star of the show at Cheltenham on Saturday despite having plenty to do at the weights.
Sir Psycho also took a nice step forward at Wincanton on Sunday but it was frustrating to see Frodon’s race at Aintree turned into a totally different contest by the decision to bypass the three fences in the straight because of low sun, maybe the start time of this race needs looking at because there was the same issue 12 months ago .
Jumping is his forte so to run the big race of the day without six fences was unfortunate. It was ironic that the chase before and after his were both ok. At least Frodon had a nice gallop round which should put him right for the Betfair Chase at Haydock which is his first main target of the season.
I was thrilled to see Quel Destin land the Masterson Holdings Hurdle In typically determined fashion in a tight finish. It’s hard for four year olds in their second season but he has a great attitude and has now won six times over hurdles from his last seven races.
I got a load of abuse by experts on Twitter after his defeat at Bath ten days earlier but I couldn’t have been more open about the situation by telling everybody including an interview on sky sports racing that it was a prep race for Cheltenham. If he won, then great, but I made it clear he was going there with the idea of putting him spot on for Saturday’s race. Obviously I hoped he would win but he got tired in the last furlong against two rivals who were fitter from racing on the flat all summer. It’s as simple as that.
Sir Psycho, just like Quel Destin, showed he had also improved plenty for his first run of the season by winning the juvenile hurdle stylishly at Wincanton on Sunday.
I’ve never known a year like it for our horses holding their condition despite doing loads of work. We have not changed anything and are not doing anything different but for whatever reason lots of mine are needing their first run more than usual, then improving plenty for the outing. That’s good in lots of ways as its a long season.
This weekend Clan Des Obeaux and Secret Investor are heading to the big meeting at Down Royal. Clan is in fine form and had a good gallop round Wincanton with Frodon recently and Secret Investor has been ready to run for three weeks.
Black Corton is set to appear in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday but I’ve also given him an entry at Ascot in case the meeting is off.
For the latest news on on our Saturday runners please turn to my Betfair column which goes live at 5pm on Friday.