Two classy French recruits offered untold promise for the future on a weekend when Pic D’Orhy came tantalisingly close to landing the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase for the second year running.

Kabral du Mathan set the ball rolling with a stylish success on his debut for us in a Class 2 Juvenile Hurdle at Huntingdon on Friday and Kalif Du Berlais was every bit as impressive when winning very nicely in another Class 2 juvenile hurdle a day later at Kempton. They both made light of their 8lbs penalties for winning their sole starts in France. Although they had been doing everything together at home for the last six weeks until they run you can never be quite sure what you have on your hands, but once Kabral won so well on Friday we were very confident of Kalif completing the double.
They are both gorgeous horses. Kalif Du Berlais is a lovely, big, scopey chasing model, a bit like Bravemansgame while Kabral Du Mathan is more a workmanlike type like Frodon. I imagine Kalif will wait for the Adonis Hurdle back at Kempton while Kabral is likely to go for the Victor Ludorum at Haydock or the Scottish Triumph Hurdle at Musselburgh.
Liari is also in the mix among a strong group of juveniles and I have to make plan for him with a few more nice prospects to run. I see Kabral as one for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap at Cheltenham and am not really tempted by the Triumph Hurdle for Kalif. He was bought to be a chaser and we will campaign him with that in mind.
It was great to see Pic D’Orhy sailing along in the lead, jumping superbly and in just failing to give 3lbs to Banbridge, a Grade 1 winner, I’d suggest he put up a career best. He kept jumping and galloping and if he’d winged the last it would have been really interesting on the run in.
Sonigino ran a little below par under top weight in the Lanzarote. He’ll have his mid winter flu jab now and a little break before I freshen him up for the two and a half mile handicap hurdle at Aintree.
We will again be fairly quiet this week before a handful of entries at the weekend when the forecast is not exactly encouraging.
But we plan to be back on song with plenty to run in time for Trials Day at Cheltenham at the end of the month. We will then be flat out for the rest of the season.
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