We head to Aintree this week without Clan Des Obeaux who has been been retired after a wonderful career which included successive victories in the Grade 1 Bowl.

He was a superb flagbearer for the yard, a brilliant horse and until a fortnight ago was on course for another crack at the Bowl trying to win it for a third time! But Clan has had one or two leg issues and when the red light starting flashing again we knew had to draw stumps and now the decision has been taken to give him a well earned retirement. He will have a bit of time off and then we will find a nice little role for him that he can enjoy.
Clan was at the top for so long, winning a three year old hurdle on his debut for us in December 2015, went on to land the King George VI Chase twice and later added a memorable triumph in the Punchestown Gold Cup and in all over a million pounds in prize money .
We start the new week with a score of 149 for the season after the deserved success of our hardy warrior Truckers Lodge in the West Wales National at Ffos Las on Sunday ridden by young Freddie Gingell on his second ride back after a collar bone injury.
It was the first win by Truckers Lodge since he ran away with the Midlands Grand National over three years ago. He has been in the grip of the handicapper for a long time but is now finally down to a more realistic mark and with ground conditions in his favour he was well on top at the end.
Twenty four hours earlier at Newton Abbot second place for Holetown Hero was enough to secure his place in the £100,000 novice handicap hurdle on the final day of the season at Sandown.
Pleasant Man has been a bit disappointing for us so far over hurdles but ran with much promise back on the flat at Musselburgh on Saturday when third in a valuable handicap over a mile and six furlongs. He could be one for Royal Ascot.
I should also mention my daughter Olive who gave Oscars Moonshine a cracking ride when they combined to win an amateur riders handicap hurdle at Wincanton on Wednesday, they may well run again at Wincanton on Sunday .
More immediately we have a few runners today (Monday) and are really looking forward to a big three days at Liverpool where we plan to take a team of eighteen or twenty horses. I just need to fine tune which one to run in each race.
For the latest news on my runners each day at Aintree please do check out my Betfair column which usually goes live 24 hours earlier.