An excellent double at Kempton on Saturday advertised the good form of our team as we enter the final two months of the season.
Kalif du Berlais was the first to strike with a determined success in the Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle. He’s a horse with a big future and maintained his unbeaten record by defying a 5lbs penalty with a determined finishing run as he saw off Givemefive in a tight finish. He had a hard enough race and will not be going to Cheltenham for the Triumph Hurdle. If he does run again this season it will be in the juvenile hurdle at Aintree though I wouldn’t lose any sleep if we decided to put him away for next season. He stays strong and is a galloper so Kempton doesn’t really play to his strengths. We need to mind him for next season when he will probably have one run over hurdles before switching to fences. He is certainly one off the nicest prospects we have had to go chasing for a long time.
Golden Son had some questions to answer after failing to finish on his last two starts. But to be fair the ground was virtually unraceable at Liverpool on the first occasion and then Harry Cobden pulled him up at Newbury because he thought he had knocked himself. But afterwards he was fine. So it was good to see him bounce back in first time cheek pieces with a welcome success in a Class 2 handicap Chase over two and a half miles. Hopefully he can continue to progress while conditions are in his favour and he could return to Kempton in three week’s time.
The Grade 2 Pendil Novice Chase is a race I love to target and it looked for a moment that Tahmuras would give me a fourteenth success in it until he was just outfought by Blow Your Wad on the run-in. While he isn’t entirely straightforward he is going to win a decent prize one day when he gets the strong pace that he needs to bring out the best in him. He could be one for the Paddy Power at Cheltenham next season.
Testing conditions at racecourses around the country are far from ideal for quite a few of ours who would prefer much drier ground. Meanwhile we continue to be busy at home schooling horses in our outdoor arena. Bravemansgame looked in top condition when Harry Cobden popped him over some fences in the midweek and our recent recruit Caldwell Potter was another to please Harry. He has settled in very well at his new home, enjoys his work and could make his debut for us in the Grade 1 Turners Mersey Novice Hurdle over two and a half miles at Aintree on Grand National day.
This weekend we will have runners at Kelso, Newbury and maybe at Doncaster if the ground dries up. Flash Collonges has been waiting for some time for the good ground he needs and might head to Doncaster as a prep for the Scottish Grand National. Sans Bruit is under consideration for the £50,000 Premier Hurdle at Kelso and Kandoo Kid is on course for the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury.
For all the latest news on my runners on Saturday please be sure to check out my Betfair column which goes live early on Friday.