Tidy victories by Brave Kingdom and Welcom to Cartries took our score for the season to 62 before a rare blank Saturday at Ascot.
I’m thrilled that Brave Kingdom is making up for lost time this season. He is not the easiest to train but has plenty of talent and buckled down in determined style at Newbury on Wednesday. He has won four of his five starts for us, stays well and is progressing nicely.
Welcom To Cartries appreciated the step up in trip at Ascot on Friday as he stayed on strongly to land his maiden hurdle over two miles, five and a half furlongs. He is a beautiful horse and an exciting prospect. A lot of these good ones don’t tend to do things quickly. He gallops all day and a race like the River Don at Doncaster late in January might suit him. Chasing will be the making of him next year.
It was disappointing that Solo finished second in the Howden Graduation Chase at Ascot on Saturday though in his defence he would have preferred much easier conditions underfoot.
I was delighted with the run of Blueking d’Oroux in the Long Walk Hurdle. He was bang there going to the final flight before being outstayed by hardy, older and much more experienced campaigners. It was an amazing performance by a four year old and I’d like to think that in another twelve months he will be in the mix with the best staying hurdlers.
We will be flat out over Christmas week and my thanks to everyone involved with Team Ditcheat for keeping the show on the road over the festive period.
Bravemansgame is the headline act in the King George V1 Chase on Boxing Day at Kempton where the drying ground will suit all our runners. I couldn’t be happier with him as he bids to repeat his victory in the race last year. His recent homework has been out of the top drawer. He is joined by Frodon, the winner in 2020, and third last year. He is still full of enthusiasm and should be in the money again.
Earlier I’m looking for a big run from Hermes Allen in the Kauto Star Novice Chase while I’m under no illusions that Rubaud faces a massive task against Constitution Hill in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle.
We also have runners at Aintree and Wincanton on Boxing Day and will be equally busy on Wednesday. Complete Unknown and Truckers Lodge are interesting contenders in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow and will be well suited by the forecast of heavy rain. We will also send runners to Kempton and Wetherby on Wednesday.
Then at the end of the week Farnoge and Captain Teague are intended starters in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury.
For all the latest news on my runners on Boxing Day, Wednesday and Saturday please be sure to turn to my Betfair columns which go live the previous day.