We head to Cheltenham in upbeat mood after a tremendous run of success in the past six or seven weeks.
While we experienced a rare blank afternoon on Saturday at Sandown the going was much more testing than advertised at declaration time on Thursday. Conditions were so attritional I think you can put a line through the way ours ran including Stratagem who almost fell at the first fence.
I withdrew two on the day and should probably have pulled out more because Rainyday Woman couldn’t handle the ground in the mares’ bumper, she will now do a months schooling and be left to go hurdling in the autumn. It was the same story with Miranda in the Imperial Cup and Malaya, who won the race two years ago, suffered a serious cut on a hind leg which looks like ending her career and will now go to stud . What a wonderful race mare she has been.
It’s good to know that conditions are going to be much better for the Cheltenham Festival with a dry forecast for the four days.
We start with four runners on Tuesday, send seven more on Wednesday and will have plenty of interesting contenders on the final two days headed up by Frodon in the Gold Cup who is on lovely form. I also part own Chameron who will run in the Hunter Chase trained by Sam Loxton who has had 3 winners from 3 runners.
With neither owners or racegoers able to attend the track the atmosphere is going to be very strange. But the great thing is that we are racing and we have so much to look forward to over in the weeks ahead leading on to Aintree, Ayr and then Sandown on the final day of the season April 24th .
For all the latest news on my runners at Cheltenham and at both Kempton and Uttoxeter on Saturday please do check out my Betfair column which goes live every afternoon starting on Monday.