A total of five winners spread between Friday and Saturday took our score for the past fortnight to eighteen.
With the Cheltenham Festival beckoning and our strike rate at 26% it is great to see our horses in such good form on drying ground that so many of them appreciate. With lots more to run right through to the end of the campaign we have so much to look forward to as does Harry Cobden who has achieved his century for the season and is trying hard to close the gap on Brian Hughes in the battle for the jockeys’ title along with Harry Skelton.
You can be sure I will be doing my best to help his cause.
On Friday Siroco Jo and Sonny Crockett both won their novice hurdles tidily at Newbury, stepping up markedly on their previous starts. They are among a group of nice young prospects who should continue to improve with experience.
On Saturday we enjoyed success at all three jumps meetings with Flash Collonges impressing in his first handicap hurdle at Kelso and Getaway Trump winning decisively at Doncaster before Hitman hacked up in the Novice Chase at Newbury.
Flash Collonges is going to make a cracking chaser next season while it was important for Hitman to enjoy the confidence booster that I was looking for after his unlucky fall in a Grade 1 Chase at Sandown last time. He is a really exciting chaser who heads next to Aintree. Getaway Trump loved the fast ground at Doncaster and there could be another decent prize in him this spring, maybe in the Red Rum Chase at Aintree.
Among those who didn’t win at the weekend Lucky One wants the ground much heavier than he encountered at Kelso while Solo ran well at the same track, wants stepping up to two and a half miles and will come into his own over fences next season.
At Newbury Grand Sancy was on the back foot from the start in the Greatwood Gold Cup, was out of his ground, and didn’t jump well enough but the experience will not be lost on him.
We will be slightly quieter this week before sending a team to Sandown with a couple of entries in the EBF Final, two or three in the Imperial Cup and Rainyday Woman on course for the Mares’ bumper.
Looking further ahead I’m delighted to say that Yala Enki’s owners have given the green light for him to run in the Grand National, a race I’ve always felt would play to his strengths, particularly if the ground comes up soft.
Meanwhile please be sure to check up on the latest news on my Saturday runners by turning to my Betfair column which goes live late on Friday afternoon.