With the vast majority of our horses on the easy list after their mid winter flu vaccinatIons it was good to achieve a double at Warwick on Saturday which took our score for the season to 111.
Next Destination kept on stoutly to win the Grade2 Hampton Novices’ Chase before Gold Bullion readily stretched clear of his rivals on his debut in the bumper. Both ran in the colours of Malcolm Denmark who is a big supporter of jump racing.
Given that the track was sharp enough for Next Destination and that he always seems to hit a flat spot in his races I loved the way he stayed on resolutely to see off Fiddlerontheroof who was in receipt of 5lbs.
He is progressing impressively after such a long spell on the sidelines, jumps soundly, has bags of stamina and there is a lot more to come from him. I’ve left plenty to work on with Next Destination who will have entries in the Festival Novice Chase (formerly the RSA) and the NH Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
While I can’t be sure at this stage I suspect he will run in the shorter race and if the ground came up properly testing he would have a good chance. Monkfish looks the one we all have to beat but you should never be afraid of one horse, especially in a Novice Chase.
I expected Gold Bullion to win the bumper at Warwick and although he ran green when the entire field had to change direction sharply soon after turning for home he then took off in a manner that really impressed Harry Cobden. I’ve no firm plans for Gold Bullion who will improve plenty for the experience.
We will be relatively quiet again this week before a busy day on Saturday when Politologue and Duc de Genievres are both intended starters in the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot while we are also sending several runners to Taunton including Yala Enki who bids to repeat his success in the marathon Weatherbys Portman Cup.
Although it is soon enough to be turning Yala Enki out again after his brilliant show in the Coral Welsh National he is a hardy character, as tough as nails, and has only been ticking over since Chepstow with one canter a day.
For all the latest news on my Saturday runners please be sure to check out my regular Betfair bulletin which goes live late on Friday afternoon.