We started the New Year as we ended the old one with another impressive Grade 1 success.
Conditions at Sandown were attritional for the Tolworth Hurdle but Tahmuras handled them comfortably as he cruised through the race before stretching clear on the flat for a ready victory. He is green but talented, travelled so well and his jumping was very good, too, until he made mistakes at the last two flights of hurdles. He has also shown he acts well on better ground.
Harry Cobden didn’t want to fire Tahmuras at the second last flight because he didn’t want to be in front too soon on that deep ground. He still won with plenty in hand as he quickened away from his rivals and we can sharpen up his jumping.
I’d say it is almost certain that Tahmuras goes for the Supreme at Cheltenham. He fits the profile for the race and it wouldn’t make any sense for him to be taking on another of our young stars Hermes Allen in the Ballymore. He is in the same mould as our other winners Noland (Tolworth Winner ) and Al Ferof , both strong stayers.
Iceo ran a highly promising race in finishing second in a competitive handicap at Sandown on his return from a little fracture that required surgery. He’d been off for a while, just needed the outing, will improve plenty for it and could be an interesting contender for the Betfair Hurdle in a month’s time.
Stage Star gave us a fine start to the week with a decisive victory over fences at Plumpton. It was good to see him back on track after a below par run at Newbury. I don’t think he was right that day but he seemed much brighter in himself at Plumpton where he went round the parade ring with a spring in his step.
He jumped very well, was always in command and won with plenty in hand. We have the option of taking him Warwick for a quite valuable race on Saturday or waiting for an extremely valuable one at Lingfield in a fortnight.
Stage Star will have an entry for both the Turners and Brown Advisory Chases at the Cheltenham Festival and if we get him right he will go for one of them.
We are closing fast on a century of winners and need only three more to reach three figures. We still have about twenty horses to run who haven’t yet had their mid winter vaccinations and with a bit of luck we might even achieve that landmark at Taunton where we have several decent chances today (Monday).
Then we will again be busy at the weekend with runners at Warwick and Kempton where Pic D’Orhy runs in the Silviniaco Conti Chase and both Outlaw Peter and Red Risk are pencilled in for the Lanzarote Hurdle.
Horses likely to head to Warwick include Threeunderthrufive in the £100,000 Classic Handicap Chase and Knowsley Road in the Grade 2 Leamington Novices Hurdle while either Stage Star or Complete Unknown run in the Grade 2 Hampton Novice Chase.
For all the latest news on my Saturday runners do pease check out my Betfair column which goes live early on Friday afternoon.