The victory of my daughter Olive on Viroflay in the Coronation Cup at Larkhill on Sunday capped another fine weekend for Team Ditcheat.
I was watching on TV at Larkhill as Afadil won the Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial at Musselburgh before it was the turn of Olive to shine on Viroflay in one of the season’s Point-to-Point Classics.
Afadil could be a very interesting horse, he’s got it all as he travelled, jumped and won nicely despite not doing a tap in front. Harry Cobden Said he was as green as grass and started pulling himself up once in the lead.
There is lots more to come from Afadil who is a bit like Zarkandar in that we just would know what he has got in the tank. while nothing is set in stone I’m tempted to take him straight to Cheltenham for the Triumph Hurdle as its getting tight enough for a 3rd run to qualify for the Fred Winter .
Half Dozen and Quel Destin got us off to a good start to the week at Hereford and Lingfield before Lime Avenue won her novice hurdle at Wincanton in the style of a smart mare. I’m sure she can be even better once she has surgery in the summer to sort out an issue with her breathing .
Twin Power and Inthewaterside then recorded a double for the yard at Sandown on Saturday. Twin Power has been a bit of a slow burner, is now maturing mentally and physically and I was very pleased with the way he won his novice handicap hurdle. He heads straight to the EBF final at Sandown in five week’s time.
The hurdles track on Saturday was tacky and Inthewaterside enjoyed the conditions more than Wrappedupinmay who finished third to him in the bumper. The winner is obviously very smart and I will not be losing any sleep about Wrappedupinmay, a lovely prospect who will not run again this season. He was bought to be a chaser and will go hurdling in the autumn.
Jet of Magic and Iliko D’Olivate both did well in their races but Monmiral will switch back to hurdles for the rest of the season after getting outpaced in the Scilly Isles Novice Chase. He was flat out all the way and needs three miles now, so we will keep him as a novice when he reverts to chasing next season.
Dolos unfortunately underperformed in the race named after him. He never seemed comfortable after an early mistake and had a little bleed afterwards. He will be back.
Outlaw Peter ran well in finishing second over three miles at Musselburgh. He could be a handy horse to take to Aintree in a three mile handicap this spring.
Truckers Lodge ran another solid race in finishing fifth in the Edinburgh National ahead of another crack at the Midlands Grand National.
We will have plenty of runners through this week before we take a strong team to Newbury on Saturday including Greaneteen in the Game Spirit, Hitman in the Denman, McFabulous in the novice chase and both Rubaud and Hacker Des Places in the Betfair Hurdle.
Then on Sunday we expect to be busy again at Exeter.
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 afternoon.