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Category Archives: Latest News

Monday 21st November

Four winners on Saturday, including a walk over, took the prize money won by our horses this season sailing past the £1 million mark.

They have been in sparkling form over the past five or six weeks, look great in their coats and continue to run really well with Sabrina providing our 63rd winner of the campaign at Exeter on Sunday.
Star billing on Saturday went to Hitman who won the Betfair Graduation Chase at Haydock with any amount in hand. He is still only six, has needed time and benefitted from a wind op over the summer. He is only just becoming the finished article now, is improving massively and the step up to three miles will bring out more improvement. I’ve felt for some time that he is a Grade 1 winner waiting to happen and he will get his chance in the King George V1 Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day which is also the target for Bravemansgame.
So Harry Cobden will have to make up his mind between the duo who both look fabulous at the moment, as well as I’ve ever had them.
We enjoyed a brilliant start to the day at Haydock with the clear cut success of Tahmuras in a fiercely competitive Listed novice hurdle over two miles. All five runners had won last time and it was exciting to see Tahmuras pull away from them in the closing stages as he beat Sizing Pottsie by five and a half lengths.
It was a bit of a surprise he won so easily on his debut over hurdles at Chepstow, but he is clearly smart and heads next to the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown where softer going and the stiffer nature of the track will play to his strengths. He is a super prospect.
A walk over for Milan Bridge at Ascot added to our score before Thames Water completed another rewarding day for the team with a six length victory in the bumper.
Early in the week it was good to see McFabulous put in a fine round of jumping on his way to a decisive triumph in his novice Chase at Exeter where the talented Timeforatune, despite racing a bit keenly, was successful by thirteen lengths.
Monmiral couldn’t quite go with Jonbon in the closing stages of an interesting dual between the pair at Warwick on Wednesday on their debuts over fences. But there were plenty of positives to be taken from the performance of Monmiral who came in a month later than most of our horses and jumped really well. He will come on plenty for the race and while Jonbon was undeniably impressive I’m thinking of taking him on again with Monmiral at Sandown where more testing ground conditions and the challenging uphill finish should be more in our favour.
We will be busy again in the coming days with plenty of runners before heading to Newbury’s two day meeting where Threeundertheufive runs in the Coral Gold Cup. Other runners of note include Stage Star in the Grade 2 Novice Chase over two and a half miles on Friday and Gelino Bello in the three mile John Francome Novice Chase on Saturday.
For the latest news on my weekend runners please do check out my Betfair column which goes live early on Thursday and Friday afternoon.


Monday 14th November

The dashing success of Hermes Allen at Cheltenham in the Grade 2 Ballymore Novice Hurdle on Friday was our highlight of the week.

He showed us nothing at home before his romp round Stratford on his debut for us and didn’t jump great that day either. But he has woken up since then, really switched himself on and you can hardly stop him at the end of the gallop now. It’s as if he is a different horse.
Hermes Allen is hugely talented, made all the running at Cheltenham and stretched clear from a decent field up the hill to win by nine lengths without being challenged.
He is all class and looks ideal for the Challow Hurdle at Newbury on New Year’s Eve and his owners would love to bring him back to the Festival in March.
Dixon Cove gave us a fine start to the week with a fluent victory at Hereford on Tuesday before the imposing Rubaud hacked up at Taunton on Thursday.
Il Ridoto ran well to finish fourth in the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday. The three in front of him had all had a prep run and Il Ridoto, who found the ground quick enough and had a good blow afterwards, will be sharper in a month’s time when he returns to the course for the Racing Post Gold Cup. He will improve.
I’m mystified by the performance of Blueking d’Oroux who was pulled up by Harry Cobden in the juvenile hurdle on Saturday. He had been giving us the right signals at home and had worked pleasingly with useful stable mates in a racecourse gallop.
But after leading until past half-way he stopped very quickly turning down the hill. He was 100% on Sunday morning and the tests we’ve run so far have all been clear. Perhaps something will come to light in the next few days.
Sonigino was another to find the ground quicker than ideal in the Greatwood Hurdle. I’m still kicking myself for running him for a second time at Chepstow where he won so easily he was raised 10lbs by the handicapper but hindsight is a wonderful thing!! I’ll freshen him up now before making any firm plans.
Irish Hill ended a frustrating couple of days for the yard by just failing to get up in a tight finish to the Salmon Spray Hurdle at Fontwell.
With rain forecast in the coming days we will again be busy this week starting with some decent chances at Exeter on Monday.
Hitman heads to Haydock on Saturday and I will leave Frodon in the Betfair Chase and will have a look at the race before making up my mind. In addition Complete Unknown is pencilled in for the £125,000 Betfair Exchange Stayers Handicap Hurdle while Tahmuras will have an entry in the Listed Novice Hurdle.
We will also be sending a team to Ascot on Saturday and entries include Pic D’Orhy, Saint Calvados and Thyme White.
For the latest news on all my runners in Saturday please do check out my Betfair column which goes live early on Friday afternoon.


Monday 7th November

Six winners over the weekend completed a tremendous week for Team Ditcheat which included two trebles and a four timer at Wincanton on Saturday.

Greaneteen and Frodon deservedly dominated the headlines and were supported by an imposing cast of young horses who showed their well-being with success after success as the week unfolded.
The final tally between Tuesday and Sunday was fourteen winners who earned significant prize money which took the yard to the top of the trainers’ table. We are currently operating at a strike rate of around 40%. Long may it last.
Stage Star set the ball rolling on Tuesday at Warwick with a fluent victory on his first start over fences. He is an exciting recruit to chasing.
A treble at Chepstow on Wednesday upped the tempo with Tahmuras and Knowsley Road winning maiden hurdles decisively before a gutsy debut by Isaac Des Obeaux who came out on top in a tight finish to the bumper.
A day later Huelgoat extended his winning sequence over fences at Newbury before Greaneteen was the undoubted star of our three timer at Exeter in Friday. He has definitely improved again and defied top weight in the Haldon Gold Cup in stunning style with stable mate Dolos running a career best in second place.
In giving lumps of weight to all his rivals and adopting bold tactics from the front off a mark of 168 Greaneteen put up a superb performance, not far short of Denman’s unforgettable triumph in the Hennessy off 174.
He now heads straight to Sandown in a month’s time when he will bid to repeat his victory in the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase.
Saturday delivered four winners at my local track Wincanton with Frodon justifying the faith of his huge band of followers with another astounding run from the front off a mark off 158.
With the ground too testing at Down Royal it made sense to keep him closer to home with the handicapper tempting me to go for the Badger Beer off a 6lbs lower mark than his last race at Cheltenham where he picked up an injury.
A legend of a horse, he has forged a brilliant partnership with Bryony Frost. He bowled along happily at the head of affairs, flew the last fence with his ears pricked, kept going right to the line and returned to a brilliant reception.
There will not be a more popular winner for a long time. Next stop for Frodon is the King George V1 Chase which he won in 2020.
Enrilo was travelling beautifully just behind Frodon when he came down at the water jump with just under a circuit to go. He is a bit sore after being kicked so we will go quietly with him for a week or two. He looked right back to his old self until the fall and I’m sure his turn is not far away.
Knappers Hill is improving fast and was another to benefit from positive tactics in the Grade 2 Elite Hurdle under a sound ride by Harry Cobden. They led throughout, took the sting out of the favourite Sceaux Royal and galloped on strongly for an impressive success.
While he will have an entry in the Fighting Fifth he is far from certain to go to Newcastle. Another option is the International Hurdle at Cheltenham next month and an attractive long term target is the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle over two and a half miles in April.
Hugos New Horse and Don Alvaro completed the four timer at Wincanton where McFabulous was out of the Rising Stars Chase at an early stage after Harry felt he had gone lame when slipping on landing at the sixth fence. I’m relieved to say that he was fine in Sunday morning. He’d jumped like a natural until his mishap and could well run at Exeter on November 14.
On Sunday we managed to win the first two races at Sandown with Halo Des Obeaux and Solo before the meeting was called off for safety reasons after the third race.
I’m thrilled with the way the horses look and are running although we may not be taking too many to Cheltenham’s three day meeting at the weekend.
Hermes Allen is pencilled in for a novice hurdle on Friday while Simply The Betts and Il Ridoto are both intended starters in the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday and possibly Monmiral in the novices chase. A day later Sonigino looks like being our only runner in the Greatwood and we are considering sending Blueking D’Oroux to Auteuil for a valuable three year old hurdle although he will also have an entry at Cheltenham saturday.
For all the up to date news on my runners at Cheltenham please be sure to check out my Betfair column which goes live early in the afternoon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.